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A woman with a sore throat rests in her bed.

Fast Remedies for Sore Throats

A sore throat can be incredibly uncomfortable, making it difficult to swallow, eat, or even speak. But worry not, because relief may be closer than you think!

At AltaMed, we understand the importance of quick and effective solutions for common health concerns, and we're here to share some tips to help ease your sore throat discomfort.

Stay Hydrated — This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve a sore throat. Sip on herbal teas, clear broths, or even warm water. Moistening your throat can soothe irritation.

Gargle with Salt Water — A saltwater gargle can help reduce inflammation and ease soreness. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water, gargle for 15-30 seconds, and then spit it out. Repeat several times a day.

Lozenges and Hard Candy — Sucking on throat lozenges or hard candy can temporarily relieve sore throat discomfort by stimulating saliva production and soothing irritation.

A glass of hot water with honey.

Honey and Lemon — The combination of honey and lemon has been a go-to remedy for generations. Mix a tablespoon of honey with the juice of half a lemon in warm water. Sip slowly for relief.

Humidify Your Space — Dry air can worsen throat irritation. Use a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air, which can soothe your throat.

Rest Your Voice — Give your vocal cords a break by avoiding excessive talking, yelling, or whispering. Resting your voice can speed up the healing process.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers — Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage guidelines.

A nurse conducts a telehealth call with a patient.

Consult a Health Care Professional — If your sore throat persists for more than a few days, or if you experience other concerning symptoms such as high fever, difficulty breathing, or severe pain, it's important to seek medical advice promptly. AltaMed offers telehealth services so you can get help quickly from the comfort of home.

Come See Us

Remember, while these remedies can provide relief, they may not treat the underlying cause of your sore throat. If you have concerns about your well-being or need further assistance, AltaMed is here for you. Our dedicated health care professionals are ready to provide comprehensive care for you and your family.

We want you to feel comfortable seeing your primary care physician, which is why we have bilingual doctors and staff. With our Find a Doctor tool, you can even search for a doctor based on their gender and location. 

Learn how to get started with AltaMed or call us at (888) 499-9303.

Get started with AltaMed

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Washing hands.

How Handwashing Keeps You Safe

Did you know ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Greeks noted the importance of handwashing for health? To get their hands clean, they used various substances, such as clay, sand, and ashes, as early forms of soap. In the thousands of years since, humans have continued this simple but essential method of hygiene. 

In modern times, the first full week of December serves as National Handwashing Awareness Week. It’s a good reminder that this practice can save lives and prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. 

Why Handwashing Is So Important

Handwashing is a basic yet powerful act of personal hygiene that plays a crucial role in safeguarding public health. The human hands are a breeding ground for various microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses. These pathogens can easily transfer from your hands to surfaces and other people, leading to the spread of disease.

Handwashing is essential for:

  • Disease Prevention — Handwashing is one of the most effective measures to prevent the transmission of diseases, including the common cold, flu, foodborne illnesses, and more recently, COVID-19.
  • Reducing Health Care-Associated Infections — In health care settings, proper hand hygiene is crucial for stopping infections that can be transmitted between patients.
  • Food Safety — Hand washing helps prevent cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses.
  • Children’s Health — Teaching children the importance of handwashing from an early age helps build lifelong hygiene habits and reduces the risk of illnesses.
Child washing hands.

How To Wash Your Hands Well

Today, handwashing is a well-established practice in health care, food service, and everyday life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide guidelines for proper handwashing techniques, emphasizing the use of soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol content or higher are recommended if soap and water are unavailable.

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing is an essential tool to fight the virus. Regular handwashing, along with mask wearing and social distancing, has played a crucial role in slowing the spread.

An Annual Reminder

National Handwashing Awareness Week serves as a timely reminder to make sure we’re all doing our part. It's a tribute to the countless generations who recognized the value of clean hands in maintaining health and preventing disease transmission. By taking the time to wash your hands, and do it well, you’re preserving the health and well-being of yourself, your family, friends, and community. 

Simple Solutions

AltaMed is available to help keep yourself and your family safe from all manner of seasonal viruses. We have information on the steps you can take like handwashing, masking up, and getting vaccinated.

Learn how to get started with AltaMed or call us at (888) 499-9303.

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A child receiving their vaccine

Protect Your Child with Safe, Effective Immunizations

Vaccines are one of the safest and most effective ways to protect your child’s health. This winter, both children and adults face an increased risk from COVID-19, the flu, and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Staying current on doctor-recommended vaccinations and immunizations will not only keep you and your family safe, but your friends, neighbors, and community as well. 

AltaMed is here to answer your questions about vaccines, including their safety, effectiveness, and which ones to get. 

Why Should I Vaccinate My Child?

Getting your child vaccinated between birth and six years of age protects them from 14 deadly diseases, including measles, mumps, and polio. Vaccinating your child also helps protect people who cannot get vaccinated themselves because they are too young or have certain health problems.

Children are most vulnerable when they are born, and they depend on you to make the right choices to keep them safe. Talk to your doctor about vaccines which you can receive during pregnancy that give your child’s immune system a boost when they are born, such as the RSV or Tdap vaccines

Once your child is born, it is critical to stick to the vaccination schedule provided by your child’s doctor. No matter the age, preventing dangerous diseases outweighs any possible vaccine side effects such as slight pain, swelling, or low-grade fever. These are important steps toward building your child’s immune system during their critical developmental stages.

Routine vaccinations are also needed during the adolescent years. The CDC recommends four vaccines for almost all children ages 9-12: meningococcal, human papillomavirus (HPV), the collective Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), and influenza (the flu). Meningococcal diseases are rare but are spread by sharing food and drinks or kissing. HPV is a virus that can cause cancer later in life, and is so common that almost everyone will get it at some point. HPV can cause cancer in both men and women and is often transmitted through sex. 

The Tdap vaccine is a booster for the children’s DTaP vaccine, necessary for older children because the effectiveness of the first vaccine wears off over time. Doctors recommend that all children six months and older receive the flu vaccine every year because the flu virus changes each year.

How Safe Are Vaccinations?

The short answer is very.

Most modern childhood vaccinations have been around for about 60 years. They were developed to stop the spread of infectious diseases that once killed thousands of people each year.

Vaccines are constantly re-evaluated and studied by scientists and researchers. Serious reactions to vaccines are rare, occurring only once in every million doses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Immunization Safety Office, the current vaccine supply in the United States is the safest in history.

Are There Rules or Laws about Vaccines?

The State of California requires all children attending public or private school to receive the doctor-recommended immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases. This mandatory vaccination helps keep overall immunity levels high and protects the community members, including other school children, who cannot receive vaccinations.

How Can I Prepare My Family for This Fall and Winter?

In 2023, experts anticipate that flu, COVID-19, and RSV infections will surge as people gather and spend more time indoors. Unfortunately, these viruses can cause serious harm for children, including difficulty breathing (sometimes long-lasting), severe lung problems like bronchiolitis or pneumonia, fever, coughing, headaches, nausea, and more. To protect children, the CDC has established new guidelines for vaccination and immunization: 

  • COVID-19 — Anyone six months and older is encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Most people five years and older only need one dose for strong protection.
  • RSV — Babies 0 to 24 months should be vaccinated during RSV season from October — March.
    • Babies born during RSV season should receive the RSV shot within one week of birth. 
    • Infants under eight months and babies between 8 and 24 months with high-risk conditions can receive a single-dose RSV immunization during RSV season.
    • Pregnant people in their third trimester during RSV season can get an RSV vaccine to protect their newborn babies.
  • Flu — Anyone six months and older is encouraged to get an annual flu vaccine.

At AltaMed, patients six years and older can receive their flu and COVID-19 vaccines in one visit. 

Free Vaccinations at AltaMed

We encourage you to follow your child’s immunizations schedule into adolescence, so your children are protected during every stage of their life. Here at AltaMed, all the vaccinations the CDC recommends are available free of cost! We provide childhood and adolescent immunizations for patients 0-17 years of age.

It’s more important than ever to stay safe and healthy. Call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment with your provider to stay on track of your child’s immunization timeline. For information about COVID-19 and RSV, click here.

Fast Remedies for Sore Throats