Katie Lawless, APRN, Methodist Convenient Care
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by two main
types of flu virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that
routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for
seasonal flu epidemics each year.
When does flu season begin?
Flu activity often increases in October and peaks between December and
February. Flu activity can last as late as May and can even be detected
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu are similar to that of a cold. Flu symptoms will be
more severe and occur suddenly, whereas cold symptoms occur gradually
and are milder. Patients may experience fever, chills, cough, sore throat,
body aches, runny nose or congestion, headache, fatigue and sometimes
vomiting and diarrhea.
What is the best way to prevent the flu?
The single best way to prevent the flu and serious complications is to
receive an annual vaccination. Flu vaccines protect against the viruses
that are researched to be the most common to reduce illness, doctor's
visits, hospitalizations, and missed work and school due to flu. Other
ways to prevent the spread of flu is to wash your hands often with soap
and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, disinfect surfaces and avoid
touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sick with flu-like illness,
it is recommended to stay home for at least 24 hours after resolution
of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Limit contact
with others and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough
Who should receive a flu vaccine?
Everyone six months of age and older should receive a flu vaccine yearly,
preferably by the end of October. It is especially important for health
care workers and patients with high-risk conditions such as asthma, heart
disease, diabetes, lung disease, pregnant women and individuals 65 years
and older to receive a flu vaccine to prevent serious and life-threatening
About Katie Lawless, APRN
Katie Lawless is a board certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
experienced in emergency and trauma nursing. She provides same day acute care at
Methodist Convenient Care located at 110 Second Street in Henderson. Walk-ins are welcome. Hours
are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 270-826-4650 for more information.