• Why You Should Get a Flu Shot

    Based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than half of American adults receive a flu vaccine each year. If you’ve skipped your flu shot in the past, here are five reasons to make it a priority this season.

    The flu is much more serious than the common cold.

    The 2017-2018 high-severity flu season caused record-breaking illnesses and hospitalization rates. On average, over 200,000 flu-infected people are hospitalized in the US each year, states the CDC, and annual fatalities range from 3,000 to 49,000. Some people have a higher risk of developing severe complications from the flu. Be sure to get a vaccination this year if you:

    • Have asthma, COPD, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer.
    • Have heart disease or have experienced a stroke.
    • Are 65 years or older.
    • Are pregnant.

    Last year’s flu shot won’t help this year.

    Some vaccinations last for years before they need a booster, but flu shots are different. Influenza viruses come in many different strains and change from year to year. This is why doctors recommend getting a flu shot each fall to protect against infection in the coming flu season.

    A flu shot is the most effective way to avoid getting sick.

    While you can take other preventative measures – such as washing your hands often, disinfecting surfaces in your home, avoiding contact with sick people and not touching your face with your hands – getting a flu shot is the single best way to avoid getting sick. The CDC estimates that you’re 60 percent less likely to contract the flu if you get vaccinated. Just remember, this varies depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine against that season’s flu strain.

    You can’t get the flu from a flu vaccine.

    There’s a misconception that receiving a flu shot can make you sick, but this is impossible because the vaccination delivers inactivated viruses incapable of infecting a person. However, the process of producing protective antibodies may make you experience muscle aches and a fever for a day or two, which is highly preferred over actually getting the flu.

    Also, be aware that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. If you’re exposed to the virus before then, you may still catch the flu. It’s also possible for a vaccine to mismatch the viruses circulating that season, reducing its effectiveness.

    Most insurance plans cover the cost of flu shots.

    Preventative care, including vaccinations, are covered by most health insurance plans.

    To qualify for coverage, some require you to receive the shot from an in-network provider. As long as you meet the requirements of your plan, you can expect flu shots for your family to be very affordable.

    Flu shots for the upcoming season become available in October. Get yours as early as possible to maximize your protection against the influenza virus. Contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule flu shots for your whole family.

  • Get the Facts on the Zika Virus

    When visiting their local clinic, urgent care center , or family physician in Atlanta, many patients ask their doctor about the Zika virus. You may have heard about this disease through the media and find yourself wanting to know more about it. If so, then watch this video to get the facts on the Zika virus.

    The virus was first isolated from a captive Rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda back in 1947, and scientists recovered it from a mosquito in the same area a year later. The first cases of the Zika virus affecting humans occurred in 1952, and the first large outbreak of the disease, with a suspected 185 cases, occurred in 2007 on the Pacific island of Yap. The Zika virus spreads when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected individual and then moves on to bite another person.

  • What to Do During Cold and Flu Season

    Colder weather is here, which means that cold and flu season has also arrived. While it is impossible to completely prevent these viral infections, there are steps that you can take to help protect yourself and your family from cold and flu infections. Stop by a walk-in clinic in Atlanta to receive a check-up and flu vaccine, and continue reading to learn more about what to do to stay healthy during cold and flu season. flu - season

    Stick to Healthy Habits

    Fueling your body properly is essential for staving off cold and flu infections. Make sure that you eat a balanced diet, and consider boosting your nutrition by taking a multi-vitamin. It is also essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, as sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to infections. Avoid spending time with infected individuals, and maintain a clean household to reduce the chance of infection. Smoking can increase your risk of a cold or flu infection, so do not start and consider quitting if you are already a smoker—your doctor can provide resources to help you quit.

    Encourage Handwashing

    One of the most common modes of transmission for cold and flu viruses is picking up germs on your hands and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day, especially before eating, before applying or removing facial products, and after using the bathroom. Encourage your family members to wash their hands as well, and if you have children, be sure that they are familiar with proper handwashing techniques.

    See Your Doctor

    The doctors at your walk-in clinic can offer additional tips to help you stay healthy this season and throughout the year. Your doctor can perform an annual exam to determine if you have any health conditions that could increase your cold and flu risk. While you are at the clinic, ask about getting a flu vaccine—this vaccine is updated every year, so do not assume that you are protected because of a previous vaccination.

  • Top Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

    The next time you schedule a physical exam at a primary care clinic in Atlanta, consider asking your family physician about getting a flu shot. Getting an annual influenza vaccine protects you , your family, and the community as a whole. And since nearly every private and public health insurance plan covers the vaccine, there’s no good reason not to get the shot. For those without insurance, a primary care clinic can administer the vaccine for a very low fee.

    Flu Shots Preventive Wellness for You

    Many people skip getting an annual flu shot because they mistakenly believe that the injection itself can cause them to develop influenza. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The flu shot is very safe and effective. The most common side effects are mild swelling, soreness, and redness at the injection site. Dealing with these mild and temporary side effects is much easier than coping with the flu. Another reason why some people avoid getting flu shots is because they assume that the flu is just like a cold. But in fact, influenza is a serious infection that can cause fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. Some people develop complications of the flu, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and even heart problems. Getting the flu shot at a primary care clinic is the most effective way to protect your health.

    Protective Benefits for Others

    You probably already know that if you’re sick, you should stay home to avoid exposing others to your infection. But did you know that you could be contagious without developing symptoms? The individuals who have the flu and do not experience symptoms or only experience mild symptoms are primarily young adults in good overall health. These individuals may inadvertently spread influenza to coworkers, classmates, and others. Scheduling an appointment for a flu shot is an easy way to protect family members and others. It’s particularly important to get a flu shot if you’re around people with weakened immune systems, such as babies, young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses.