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Florida Flu Risk Goes Up as Snowbirds Come Down

Posted on December 13, 2016 and filed under Urgent Care Blog

Senior Couple on Vacation

Every fall, Florida’s flu season arrives with the arrival of Northern residents who escape the cold and snow in their Southern second homes. These Northerners are locally referred to as “snowbirds” and they stay in sunny Florida from the fall to the early spring. While they receive a warm welcome from Florida’s year-round residents, few consider that the millions of snowbirds bring down much more than their T-shirts and may contribute to an increase in influenza outbreak.

MD Now wants both Florida residents and snowbirds to be aware of this heightened health hazard and to take every precaution to protect themselves from the flu. And the best way to protect your health is to get a flu shot. Luckily, flu shots are available on a walk-in basis at all MD Now locations in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. But it’s important to be aware that it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to get into your system. “We’re starting to see more and more cases of the flu,” says Peter Lamelas, M.D., CEO of MD Now Urgent Care. “That’s why MD Now is sharing a few additional tips for reducing your risk of the flu throughout Florida’s snowbird season.”

The Germ Concern

While it may still be warm and sunny throughout the Sunshine State, health experts warn that flu season is well underway. While influenza outbreaks are currently low throughout most of the state, that could change at any moment and Floridians could start suffering from uncomfortable flu symptoms. That’s why both permanent and temporary Florida residents must get a flu shot to protect themselves, especially since the threat of influenza is heightened by the arrival of Northern snowbirds.

Why does the winter descent of Northerners raise Florida’s flu risk? Well, more people means many more germs. Now that millions of snowbirds are heading to the state to enjoy the winter warmth, more germs are in the air and there’s a much greater chance for the flu to spread. Another factor that increases the risk of the flu is that snowbirds tend to be older. And health experts say that the elderly, the young, and those who are pregnant are most susceptible to influenza. As a result, Florida’s flu season could be worse than expected. You can easily track the number of Florida’s flu cases each week to spot signs of a sudden increase at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/florida-influenza-surveillance-reports/index.html.

But rather than worry that you’ll come down with flu symptoms, you can simply protect yourself with a flu shot. Each year, millions of people line up for the influenza vaccine. Why? Because they’d rather spend a moment protecting themselves from influenza than struggle with flu symptoms and have to find the right flu treatment. Simply put, your best shot for avoiding the flu is to go and get a flu shot.

How to Fight the Flu

Research has shown that flu shots are extremely effective at protecting you from the flu. And the fastest, easiest, and most convenient place to find the flu vaccine is at your nearest MD Now, where the influenza vaccine is available on a walk-in basis.

But it’s important to be aware that it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to get into your system. And since you should take every precaution to avoid needing flu treatment during that two-week wait, here are some simple tips to protect yourself from the higher risk of the flu through Florida’s snowbird season:

  • Don’t let sick relatives go into work.
  • Cough into your arm instead of using your hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after exposure to others that are sick.
  • Get a flu shot, which is available at MD Now on a fast and friendly, walk-in basis.

MD Now Is Your Source for the Highest-Quality Care

Discover the caring, convenient, and cost-efficient treatment that can always be found at MD Now. All of our locations are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, 365 days a year, and operate on a walk-in, no-appointment basis to conveniently suit your schedule. With locations throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, quality care is always within your reach. For the South Florida locations nearest you, visit https://www.mymdnow.com/locations.

To learn more about our urgent care centers, call 888-MDNow-911 or visit www.MDNow.com.

MD Now® Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Centers is the leading provider of fast and affordable urgent care to adults and children in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Our state-of-the-art, walk-in medical centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to deliver an affordable and convenient alternative to long emergency room wait times and the limited hours of family physicians. No appointment is necessary and major insurance plans are accepted. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of urgent care services to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, our multiple locations offer digital x-rays, EKG, ultrasounds, lab testing, physicals, immunizations, vaccines, physical therapy, occupational medicine, travel medicine and selected primary care services. Find the medical care you need with the convenience you want at MD Now. Call: 888-MDNow-911, online: www.MDNow.com.

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