Flu season is here, so it’s time for your flu shot!
We asked Baton Rouge Clinic Internist, Dr. Messan Folivi about the flu, and what can be done to prevent it and treat the symptoms.

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WHAT IS INFLUENZA?

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a common, highly contagious viral illness. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and body aches, however, a sore throat, headache, nasal discharge, and weakness or fatigue may also occur. The severity of symptoms can range from mild enough to manage at home, all the way to severe illness requiring hospitalization and respiratory support.

Dr. Messan Folivi

The influenza virus is airborne, meaning that it spreads through the air, which causes it to be highly contagious. A flu test can be used to diagnose you when you are having symptoms. Treatment for the flu is based on treating the symptoms, like cough medications, Tylenol for fever, etc. Antiviral medications are also available if taken in the first 24-48 hours of onset symptoms to help reduce the number of days symptoms present. It is important to note that there is no treatment that will eradicate or kill the virus. They can only prevent the growth of the virus in your body, which means that they aren’t as effective if the virus has had enough time to multiply in your body.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET THE VACCINE EACH YEAR?

The best way to fight influenza is to prevent it in the first place! Once you have been infected, it’s hard to predict the course of the disease and the complications that may arise. Every year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) analyzes each vaccine subtype and makes the necessary adjustment for the upcoming season based on the strains and trends of influenza infections. Data shows that the flu vaccine prevents illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the influenza virus. Getting your flu shot every year is crucial in preventing the influenza infection.

 

Walk-in flu shots are available Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM, at The Baton Rouge Clinic Immunization Clinic (7473 Perkins Road).


To make an appointment with Dr. Folivi, call our scheduling department at (225) 246-9240