Flu or Pneumonia? Spot the Difference

August 30, 2018

You may feel pretty awful when you are sick – but taking a closer look at your symptoms may help you figure out whether you’ve got the flu or a case of pneumonia. The flu is a contagious respiratory (nose, throat, lungs) illness caused by the flu virus. 

On the other hand, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. According to the CDC, it is the leading infectious cause of death in children under 5 years old around the world.

Do you have chills and a fever? Make note of your symptoms and share what you’re feeling with your doctor. It may keep you from having serious complications. Better yet, learn how you can prevent a case of the flu or pneumonia this season! 
 

symtoms

 

Beating Both Through Prevention
woman getting a shot

When the flu season comes around, the number of people getting pneumonia is also at its peak. Here’s what you can do to prevent getting the flu or pneumonia:

  • Get your annual flu shot

  • Wash your hands regularly

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm (not your hands!) or use a tissue

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands

  • Wipe down door knobs and other areas you touch frequently at home and work


Give it a Shot
Flu shots can help protect you and loved ones as the first line of defense against the flu virus. AltaMed is offering flu shots at no cost to you or your family, no appointment necessary. Go to your nearest AltaMed medical office to get your flu shot.

 

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Dodging the Flu: Use Your First Line of Defense

October 02, 2018

Did you know that peak flu season can occur any time between November and March? With such a long range of exposure, it’s important to take precautions that can help protect you and your family.
 
At AltaMed, we’re dedicated to keeping our patients and communities healthy. Follow these easy tips to avoid getting sick this season, so you can spend more time doing what you love!
 

  • Give it a Shot: Flu shots can help protect you and loved ones as the first line of defense against the flu virus. AltaMed is offering flu shots at no cost to you or your family, no appointment necessary. Go to your nearest AltaMed medical office to get your flu shot.
  • Sharing isn’t Always Caring: If you begin to have any flu-like symptoms stay home to avoid getting worse or spreading it to others. Rinse and Repeat: Be sure to wash your hands several times a day, especially after coming in contact with someone who may be sick.
  • Rinse and Repeat: Be sure to wash your hands several times a day, especially after coming in contact with someone who may be sick.
  • Keep it Sparkling Clean: Clean and disinfect shared surfaces in your home or office to avoid the buildup of germs. 
  • Hit the Hay: Go to bed on time. Experts recommend at least 8 hours of sleep every night to maintain a healthy immune system. 

 

 

Busting Flu Myths

November 18, 2019

Friends and family often have their own remedies or beliefs on how to avoid getting sick or how to fight the flu, but we are here to answer frequently asked questions and bust the most common myths.
 


I’m healthy. I don’t need the vaccine.
woman making a green drink

You may be a great driver, but you still need car insurance in case someone else causes an accident, right? Why risk four to six days of high fever, sore throat, body aches and other symptoms that will limit your ability to go to work or attend school? The flu virus can lead to serious complications including pneumonia, dehydration, hospitalization, and in some cases, even death.

These can all be prevented, or at least minimized, by receiving the vaccine. It’s also critical for those who are in regular contact with children under the age of 6 months and those with chronic illness to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of illness in the household.that provider.


Flu shots make me sick!


woman blowing her nose

The vaccine does not infect a person with influenza. The vaccine works by helping your body’s immune system recognize the virus so that it can create a defense (antibodies) that will fight the flu.
 

I have a cold so I can’t get my flu shot.


man blowing nose

A cold can’t stop you from getting your flu shot! However, your primary care provider won’t give you the vaccine if you have a high fever and are experiencing respiratory symptoms because your immune system won’t be strong enough to create the antibodies it needs to protect you against the flu.


The flu shot will keep me from getting colds too.
kid getting a shot

The flu is not a severe cold or pneumonia, even though symptoms can be similar. It is a virus that is extremely aggressive. When you ask your health care provider for a “flu shot,” you will get the influenza vaccine which protects you from the virus. The flu vaccine won’t protect you against colds or pneumonia. 
 

What about side effects?


mom hugging daughter
The most common side effects are soreness around the injection area, redness, nausea and muscle aches, which usually go away in a couple of days. Children may be scared of getting a shot, but it’s very important for them to receive their immunizations – one pinch and it’s done!
 


Why does the vaccine change from year to year?
calendar

The vaccine changes every year because the virus changes every year. This makes it difficult for our body to detect the virus in time and we end up getting sick. Thanks to technology and the study of viruses, scientists can try to predict what the virus will look like for the upcoming flu season. 

Sometimes the virus changes too quickly and the rate of protection can be lower than expected but it has been proven year after year that the vaccine is a great tool to prevent complications and even reduce mortality rates in all age groups.

You now have the right information that can protect you and your loved ones during this year’s flu season.  The flu is not just a simple cold, it’s a highly-contagious illness that can be life-threatening for those who have chronic illnesses. 

Get Your Free Shots at AltaMed!

Get vaccinated today against the virus at your nearest AltaMed medical center to protect yourself and your family. It’s free and you don’t need an appointment.  See hours and locations near you.