No one likes catching the flu. As flu season begins in the city of Houston, you may be wondering where to get flu shots in Houston, TX, and why it’s so important to get a flu vaccination. Village Emergency Centers is here to answer those questions and fill you in on everything you need to know about dealing with the influenza viruses you may come in contact with.
Why are Flu Shots Important?
Flu shots are important and are encouraged by the Houston Health Department because they’re the best way to protect yourself against catching the flu virus! These vaccinations offer protection from three or four of the most common flu viruses in circulation by helping you build up antibodies that will fight them off and help prevent you from succumbing to the flu.
Flu shots can also lessen the severity of flu symptoms and reduce the possibility of complications that accompany severe cases of the illness. This is why it’s important for vulnerable populations to get their flu shot annually. People with chronic health conditions, like asthma, diabetes, or cancer, children ages six months and older, adults ages 65 and older, and pregnant women all have a high risk of developing a severe case of the flu.
In extreme cases, the flu virus can lead to respiratory failure or death. Getting a flu shot can help lessen the effects of the flu, and help prevent medical complications.
How Does the Flu Spread?
Flu season starts in the United States as early as October and can run late as the month of May. Most commonly, the flu spreads through infected droplets traveling through the air; thus, it is often referred to as an airborne illness. When a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, these droplets can land in the mouths or nose of others, or can be inhaled, passing the infection on to the next person.
The flu can also sometimes be transmitted through coming in contact with an infected surface. If a healthy person comes in contact with a recently contaminated surface and then touches their nose or mouth, they can become infected.
Signs and Symptoms of the Flu
The most common symptoms of the flu include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Body Aches
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
Typically, a case of the flu will resolve itself in one to two weeks with proper at-home care. However, when cases of the flu linger or when symptoms worsen, seeking health care from your doctor, an urgent care facility, or emergency room may be necessary.
How to Avoid Catching the Flu
With COVID-19, RSV, and other airborne illnesses on the rise this flu season, taking preventative measures and being more proactive in protecting yourself is essential! You can help yourself avoid coming down with the flu by following many of the same steps you’ve been encouraged to follow in COVID-19 prevention.
To prevent yourself from contracting or spreading the flu, you can do the following:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Wear a face covering when out in public.
- Actively cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Maintain a six foot distance from others infected or may become infected.
- Stay home if you are sick, have a fever, or suspect you may be coming down with the flu.
- Schedule an appointment to get your flu vaccination.
The final item on that list should come at no surprise to you! Getting your flu shot is the best way to help protect yourself from the flu!
Where to Get Flu Shots in Houston
To schedule your flu shot, you can reach out to your primary care physician, or schedule an appointment at participating urgent care clinics, pharmacies, drug stores in your area, or through Harris County Public Health.
Get Help From Village Emergency Centers!
If you or a loved one suspect that you may have the flu, or are suffering from severe flu symptoms, take the road to VIllage! Our team of experienced physicians are here and ready to help diagnose and treat your case of the flu. Find out more about our services by visiting our website!