Can You Catch the Flu Twice in One Season?

Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by LCMC Health Urgent Care.

Can You Catch the Flu Twice in One Season?

In case you haven’t noticed, this flu season has been a particularly rough one throughout most of the United States. Louisiana is one of three dozen states across the country with an unusually high number of cases, confirmed by both patients reporting symptoms and lab results, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The New Orleans Advocate reports that in the metro New Orleans area, pharmacists say antivirals have been flying off the shelves as doctors report treating an elevated number of cases in hospitals, pediatricians’ offices and urgent care centers. One of the reasons the flu is so bad this year is because one strain going around, H3N2, often makes people sicker for longer. Also, fewer people tend to get vaccinated in Louisiana. According to The New Orleans Advocate, about 40 percent of the state’s residents typically get the flu shot, compared to 55 to 60 percent of residents in other states.

It’s February. Am I Out of the Woods Yet?

Regretfully, health officials say that we’re not out of the woods yet, and flu activity will likely remain elevated for at least several more weeks. You may be thinking, “Ah! My family and I have already caught the flu, so we’re in the clear for the rest of the season.” Unfortunately, that is not the case. Experts say it is indeed possible to catch the flu twice in one season, because there are multiple strains of flu viruses circulating at any one time. That means getting sick with one strain of flu won’t necessarily protect you from a different strain.

“Most people who get the flu this season are getting sick with the H3N2 strain,” says, LCMC Health Urgent Care Medical Director Patrick Dennis, MD. Dennis adds, “However, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a smaller portion of people are getting the H1N1 strain or the influenza B virus. So, they’re both out there and active.”

How Can I Prevent the Flu and Protect My Family?

Since this is one of the worst flu seasons in years, it’s worth reviewing flu prevention to help protect you and your family. Because the only thing worse than catching the flu is watching your little one suffer through those miserable symptoms.

First, whether you’ve had the flu, or not, get vaccinated. Doctors generally recommend the flu vaccination for everyone ages six months and older. The second line of defense for you and your children is to keep those germs away. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouths when you cough and if someone in the family comes down with symptoms, isolate that person from other family members if possible. Additionally, see a doctor as soon as symptoms arise. The treatment window for the flu is usually within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, and the only proven treatment that helps requires a doctor’s prescription, so it’s important to act fast.

I am Sick But REALLY Do Not Want to Wait 4 Hours to Get Care. Are There Other Options?

Here in the New Orleans area, LCMC Health Urgent Care has three convenient, walk-in clinics to help protect you and your family from the flu, or treat you if you’re one of the many who come down with it. Our locations in Lakeview (826 Harrison Ave. Ste. A), Gretna (2600 Belle Chase, Hwy B-2) and Luling (107 Maryland Dr.) are open 7 days a week. No appointment is ever necessary. Clinic hours are 8:00am to 8:00pm {Monday through Friday} and 8:00am to 5:00pm {Saturday and Sunday}. Our reach also extends to the Covington area with our LCMC Health affiliate Lake Urgent Care Northshore.

When minor illnesses or injuries occur, LCMC Health Urgent Care provides a conve­nient, affordable alternative without appointments or long wait times. In addition to the flu, minor conditions treated include: ear and eye infections, fever, minor cuts that may need stitches, possi­ble broken bones and simple fractures, minor skin infec­tions, severe sore throat, sprains and strains, and vomit­ing and diarrhea. All locations offer modern, state-of-the-art facili­ties with the latest technology including digital X-ray and electronic medical records. LCMC Health Urgent Care is backed by the outstanding resources and reputation of LCMC Health. LCMC Health manages some of the top hospitals in the New Orleans area including Children’s Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center, New Orleans East Hospital and West Jefferson Hospital. Even if you’ve had the flu, remain vigilant and be sure to protect yourself and your family with a flu shot.  In fact, if you and your loved ones were vaccinated early in the season, you may benefit from a second shot just to be on the safe side.  Still have questions about the flu?  Get answers at any LCMC Health Urgent Care location.

Learn more about LCMC Health Urgent Care::

Website | Facebook | Twitter 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here