The fall and winter months bring many great things into our lives. They bring changing weather, often providing a much needed break from the sky high temperatures of summer. They bring cozy nights with hot chocolate, curled up with a book in front of the fireplace. They bring snow and Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. All in all, there are many great things that come out of these months. However, they also bring with them a considerable uptick in colds and other illnesses seen all throughout the country.
The common cold is really just that. There are, in fact, more than one billion cases seen throughout the United States during just one flu and cold season. After all, the common cold is easily transmitted, as a contagious person might not even know that they are sick until a few days after contracting the illness – and spreading it around. Fortunately, the common cold is highly uncomfortable, but not ever really dangerous. Typically, it lasts for around ten days, but it’s duration can span between a mere two days to a whopping two weeks. Most people are able to heal from a cold easily, though rest and taking care of one’s body will certainly help this process along. In most cases, no medical care will be needed unless something such as a sinus infection is developed (and even this is not overly common).
The flu, however, is a completely different beast. It is also very common, impacting even up to 5% of the total American population during quieter years. During more serious years, the flu will impact as much as one full fifth of the population. Last flu season saw millions of people infected, with some estimates putting the number of flu patients at above 20 million people when all was said and done. This just goes to show how rampant flu can be in our communities. And the flu is not a mild illness. While some people will recover from it with relatively few issues, the flu can also lead to serious complications like pneumonia and sepsis. Tragically, it can also lead to death – particularly of those people who are part of particularly susceptible groups (such as the elderly and young children alike).
Fortunately, preventative steps can be taken. If you go to your local urgent care clinic, you will find that they are able to give you your yearly flu shot. Urgent care locations carry a number of different kinds of the vaccine, as there are different varieties recommended for different groups of people. For example, at risk populations tend to get a different type of the vaccine formulated specifically for them. Going to your local urgent care center will be easy, as up to 85% of them are actually open each and every day of the week, including weekends. This means that you’ll be able to pop in to your nearest walk in urgent care center and get a flu shot even if you live the busiest of lives.
And getting a flu shot from your local walk in urgent care center is going to be more than worth it. For one thing, most walk in urgent care centers offer flu shots for free, provided that you have some kind of medical insurance – really any kind at all. But even if you don’t have health insurance, getting a flu shot from an urgent care center will not break the bank – and is still likely to be worth it at the end of the day. A flu shot will also never prevent you from fully getting the flu, but will help to mitigate your flu becoming serious, should you still contract it. You’ll have a lower chance of developing serious complications and you also won’t be as sick for as long. Therefore, your entire process of having the flu will be ultimately much more bearable. And as anyone who has ever had the flu can all too easily attest to, this is a hugely important thing indeed.
At the end of the day, staying healthy during flu and cold season is more possible than you might have thought.