News image

News

The Best Defense is a Good Offense:
Flu Vaccine First Step in Maintaining Health

Frisco’s Legacy ER Makes Flu Prevention More Convenient, Affordable

If you’ve ever had influenza, or “the flu,” you know it is far worse than the common cold. So this year, take action. Instead of having to stay in bed feeling exhausted, suffering from fever, body aches and terrible congestion for a week or more, get vaccinated. An estimated 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die annually as a result of getting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from this serious disease.

“Annual vaccination is especially important for people at high risk—including those 65 and older, people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart disease, and pregnant women and young children,” said Steven E. Martz, M.D., one of three founding physicians with Legacy ER, a freestanding emergency and urgent care facility in Frisco. “It is also critical for those who live with or care for high-risk individuals.”

While recommended for most everyone, “The vaccine is not available for infants under six months, and any person with a severe allergy to chicken eggs should avoid vaccination,” added Dr. Martz.

The flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. And each year, a new vaccine is produced to keep pace with constantly changing flu viruses. Getting vaccinated can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses, or it can make your illness milder if you come in contact with a different flu virus.

Having trouble fitting a flu shot into your busy schedule? Legacy ER makes health care convenient by offering flu vaccinations during regular office hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week) without an appointment.

What should you do if you wind up with the flu? “To relieve symptoms of the flu, get adequate amounts of rest and drink plenty of fluids. It is also helpful to sleep with your head elevated in order to alleviate nasal congestion,” said Dr. Martz. “For headache relief, try aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Treating symptoms helps the body protect itself from the threat of pneumonia, which often results from the flu.”

“Those affected by the flu virus spread it very easily through basic contact, such as shaking hands or touching common objects like doorknobs or money,” added Dr. Martz. “It’s always important for good health to practice good hand hygiene. When you have the flu, it’s critical for you and those around you to wash your hands for at least 15 to 30 seconds after coughing, sneezing, using the restroom, and before and after eating. Individuals with flu should also avoid sharing personal items, such as drinking glasses and towels. In addition, a good diet, plenty of rest and regular exercise also help defend your body from getting the flu.”

Legacy ER, located at the northwest corner of Legacy Drive and Main Street in Frisco, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and accepts all private insurance. For more information, visit LegacyER.com.