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Four Smart Steps to Avoid the Flu

Matt Boster

Viewed: 4821

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jan 12 2018 1:39 PM

Dothan, Ala. (January 11, 2018)– This flu season is striking hard and wide across the country, creating anxiety for individuals who are vulnerable to serious complications. Like other facilities and medical offices in the area, Flowers Hospital is seeing an increase in emergency room visits among people with flu-like symptoms. As with any illness, it’s important to learn and follow steps that can protect you and your loved ones from contracting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists four important steps to reduce your risk of infection:

• Wash your hands consistently throughout the day. Hand washing is still one of the most effective and easiest ways to prevent infection.

• Keep your hands away from your face. Microscopic germs find their way into our bodies most often through hand-to-eye, nose or mouth contact. Door knob and handles, office coffee pots and grocery cart handles can all carry the virus.

• Stay away from sick people. Individuals can still be contagious for 24 hours after a fever and other symptoms cease.

• Get vaccinated. Even when a vaccine is not a perfect match for a flu strain it still benefits the recipient by decreasing the intensity and duration of the illness and preventing complications. “Besides getting a flu shot, the best way to prevent the flu – or other illnesses – is the common sense things we learned as children,” said Dr. Mathew Krista, an emergency medicine physician at Flowers Medical GroupPrimeCare. “Wash your hands regularly, keep your hands away from your face and avoid people who are sick.”

If you do become ill and suspect the flu virus, see your doctor or visit an urgent care center such as PrimeCare; you may receive a prescription for an antiviral medication which can lessen flu symptoms and help you recover faster. This is a critically-important step for those who are at higher risk for flu complications, such as young children, adults age 65-plus and those with lung disease and compromised immune systems.

When you’re ill, you can help stop the spread of viruses by staying home, except for medical care visits, until you have been fever- and symptom-free for 24 hours. Protect others from your sneezes and coughs by turning away from people and bringing your sleeved arm up to sneeze or cough into your elbow. “This year’s flu season seems to be more severe than recent ones,” said Krista.

“People who are at higher risk for flu-related complications should see their doctor immediately if they suspect they have the flu to ensure they are monitored for complications.” 4370 West Main Street  Post Office Box 6907 Dothan, Alabama 36302  Phone: 334-793-5000  Fax: 334-793-4613 Unlike a cold, the flu typically comes on suddenly. It is a contagious respiratory virus adults may unknowingly spread before experiencing symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu symptoms include fever or feeling feverish/chills (although not everyone with flu will have a fever); cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; fatigue; and vomiting and diarrhea, which are more common in children.

Flowers Hospital encourages the community to take the necessary precautions to help avoid the spread of the flu and to seek medical care from patients’ primary care providers or an urgent care center before visiting the emergency room when possible.

The Flowers Medical Group providers at the Dothan location of PrimeCare are ready to quickly treat any patients with flu-like symptoms to help avoid an emergency room visit. PrimeCare is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The office is located at 4126 West Main Street in Dothan and can be reached at (334) 793-2120. Other primary care providers with Flowers Medical Group are also working to quickly see and treat patients. To see a full list of primary care providers with Flowers Medical Group along with locations and phone numbers, please visit


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