Taking a shot at fighting winter flu virus

Tips on staying healthy

It’s that time of the year again and flu season is here. With an estimated 9.2 million flu illnesses annually in the United States, and 36 flu-related deaths in Los Angeles, the medical team at Exer More Than Urgent Care offers these tips on how to help protect against the spread of this common fall illness.

Understand the flu. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death.

People with the flu often experience the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue.

The flu can spread from person to person when saliva is projected from one person’s coughing, sneezing or talking onto another. The flu can also be spread by contact, even if one is not sick.

Get a flu vaccine. It’s Important. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect oneself, loved ones and peers from the flu.

Ages 6 months and older are advised to be treated with the anti-viral vaccination annually as a preventative measure and to help avoid missing work, school and everyday activities.

For skeptics, it is important to know the flu vaccine cannot give someone the flu because it is known as a dead vaccine, meaning there are no live viruses in the fl u vaccine itself.

Each year, scientists update the vaccine based on current flu trends in the United States.

When sick, here is what will help. If someone does get the flu, it is recommended to stay home and avoid contact with other people, with the exception of seeking medical care.

If symptoms are worrisome, visit an urgent care for quick treatment.

If ill with the flu, the following foods are known to help: ginger, garlic, oatmeal, hot tea, honey, bananas, vegetable juice, unsweetened applesauce, oranges and chicken soup. Each of these foods is high in nutrients and rich in vitamins to accelerate the road to recovery.

Exer clinics offer flu shots and are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The last patients are registered daily at 8:30 p.m.

The Calabasas clinic is at 26777 Agoura Road. The Newbury Park clinic is at 701 N. Wendy Drive.

For information and a list of locations, visit the website ExerUrgentCare.com.