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Flu Season 2019-2020: What You Need to Know

Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system including your lungs, nose and throat. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, but you may also have body aches, tiredness, fever, chills, and sometimes nausea.

Where can I get a flu shot?

There are many ways to get a seasonal flu shot.

If I think I have the flu, should I go to the doctor?

Most people who get the flu do not need to see a doctor and can treat themselves at home. It is also encouraged that you stay home to not risk spreading the flu.

You can take advantage of one of our at-home options to triage your symptoms.

  • Video Visit: If you are a Presbyterian Health Plan member, you can request a Video Visit to see a doctor in real time.
  • Learn more and schedule
  • Online Visit: Through our online system, Presbyterian Medical Group providers diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications based on a free questionnaire you fill out.
  • Learn more and schedule

If you are experiencing more severe symptoms or feel you are at risk of complications, make an appointment to see a doctor right away, or schedule an appointment at an urgent care.

Schedule an urgent care appointment

Who gets the flu?

With or without a flu shot, some people are at a higher risk of getting the flu or developing complications of the flu. Anyone can get the flu, but the following people are more likely:

  • Young children under age 5, and especially those under 12 months
  • Adults older than age 65
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes

How can I prevent the flu?

Many times, the flu can be prevented with a seasonal flu shot. But that doesn’t always make you 100% protected. There are ways to help limit your chances of getting the flu, or to stop the spread of the flu, including:

  • Washing your hands often and thoroughly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your inner elbow if tissues are not available
  • Avoiding crowded areas or those you know may have the flu. If you are sick, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides to protect others