Dr. Jessica Best, a medical director at Ally Medical Emergency Room, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about the flu season and how Ally Medical can help.

Flu season is upon us –what can we do to prevent infection?

“First and foremost, the CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine as the best way to protect yourself against the flu.”

“Avoiding contact with people who are sick, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your face are everyday preventative actions you can take to also prevent the spread of germs.”

“Finally, being able to recognize flu symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue — is crucial, and if you show signs of these symptoms, it should signal to stay home from work or school and that it’s time for a doctor’s visit.”

With the pandemic still fresh on our minds, how can we tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 since symptoms sometimes appear to be the same?

“The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses, a coronavirus and an influenza virus.”

“COVID-19 symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, whereas flu symptoms usually appear about one to four days after exposure to the virus.”

“Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms ranging from no symptoms to severe symptoms.”

“Because of the similarities of symptoms, testing is imperative to confirm a diagnosis and determine the correct course of treatment.”

If one does come down with the flu, what steps should be taken to recover?

Of course, staying home to avoid spreading germs is inherent. Taking medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever, drinking water or receiving intravenous fluids to stay hydrated, and getting plenty of rest to help the body fight the virus can all be helpful steps to take on the road to recovery.”

“Prescription influenza antiviral medications are also available and FDA-approved to treat the flu.”

For those wanting more information and tips for preventing and treating the flu, where should they go?

Ally Medical’s website has everything you need to know about the flu at AllyMedical.com. Check it out!

Ally Medical is open 24/7 and has four locations serving the Austin area, including two in Houston. Follow on Twitter and Instagram @AllyMedical.

This segment is paid for by Ally Medical Emergency Room and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.