Contact: Marion Ciciarelli
No one needs to be told that it’s a tough year to avoid influenza. The flu has struck everywhere; the schools, the workplace and of course, many homes nationwide.
If you’re among those with the associated flu symptoms, which are fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches or fatigue, it may be time to visit one of Oswego Health’s two urgent care centers.
“We’re experiencing much higher volumes of flu patients at our urgent care centers,” said Michael Boyle, MD, regional director of Oswego Health’s urgent care centers and emergency department. “When diagnosed with influenza, it’s critical that you get your prescription of Tamiflu (or the generic form Oseltamivir) filled and that you take it as soon as possible. This medication is most effective within 48 hours of the onslaught of any flu symptoms.”
This flu-fighting medication is available locally, despite a shortage elsewhere in the county.
Dr. Boyle adds that community members can still get the flu shot, which remains a valuable tool in prevention.
Other important steps residents can take to prevent the flu are to practice good hand washing and respiratory hygiene. This means washing your hands frequently. It’s recommended to wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing all surfaces of your hands (don’t forget those nails) for at least 15 seconds, as well as after using the bathroom, before eating, and any time the hands are visibly soiled.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene includes using tissues once and then immediately throwing them away. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth.
One last tip is to disinfect the high-touch surfaces in your home, such as counters, remotes, appliances, and fixtures.
The Fulton and Central Square urgent care centers are open daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. A physician is always onsite. The Fulton location is 510 S. Fourth Street in Fulton, and in Central Square, the medical center is at 3045 East Avenue in the village.