National Influenza Vaccination Week is Coming
This year, from December 5-9, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will observe National Influenza Vaccination Week. Their goal is to remind everyone over six months to get a flu vaccine this year. Vaccination for the flu is particularly important for people at a higher risk of developing severe complications, including young children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.
There are many different types of flu viruses, and they are constantly changing. As a result, the flu vaccine is typically updated yearly to protect against the most common strains. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get a flu vaccination annually. Flu vaccines are the only proven way to reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization, and death from influenza.
What Should You Know About the Flu?
The flu is a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system, causing symptoms like coughing, congestion, and fever. It is highly contagious, and people with the flu can spread it to others through coughing or sneezing.
The flu is most commonly seen in the winter when people are more likely to be indoors and in close contact with each other. However, it can occur at any time of year.
A 2018 CDC study found that in the U.S., about eight percent of the population gets sick from the flu every year.
While the flu can be unpleasant, it is usually not serious. Most people recover within a week or two without any complications. However, some people are at risk of severe complications like pneumonia. This includes pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions.
If you think you have the flu, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Antiviral medications can help to shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the risk of complications.
What Imaging Tests Are Needed With the Flu?
The influenza virus typically just needs to run its course. However, the flu virus can sometimes cause complications, like bacterial infections in the lungs. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and pleurisy are several complications that can develop after getting diagnosed with the flu.
Diagnosing pneumonia and other lung illnesses can be difficult. Imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can help to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays are the most commonly used imaging test for pneumonia, as they can show lung changes characteristic of the disease. CT scans and MRIs may also be used if x-rays are inconclusive or if the patient has a history of lung conditions.
Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing complications from pneumonia and other serious lung conditions.
Contact ImageCare Radiology
If your doctor schedules an imaging test to rule out pneumonia or lung disease, call ImageCare Centers immediately. We offer state-of-the-art imaging at a fraction of the cost of hospitals and urgent care clinics. Contact us today at 973-871-3333 to schedule an appointment or complete our convenient online appointment request form.