Washington, D.C. – Although it is November and the flu has not peaked nationally or in Metropolitan Washington, D.C., United Medical Center is encouraging individuals to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“Yearly vaccinations early in the flu season are critical,” said Dr. Julian Craig, United Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer. “Getting vaccinated now can be protective and help lessen the severity of the illness if a person becomes stricken with the flu. This is very important for everyone to know, but particularly important for people over 65 years of age, children under 5 years old, pregnant women and individuals with preexisting health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and obesity who are more prone to the illness. People who have weakened immune systems are also at a higher risk to contract the flu.”
There are a wide range of flu symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headaches, cough, and a runny or stuffy nose. To avoid catching the flu, individuals should wash their hands regularly, avoid contact with people who are sick, eat a nutritious diet, don’t smoke, and cover one’s nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
“When people are diagnosed with the flu they should stay home and not go to work or school,” said Dr. Craig. “They should also drink liquids, get plenty of sleep and ask their doctor about medications that will help them avoid complications. Bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes can result from severe flu complications. The flu is an illness that can become very serious in a short period of time.”
Individuals should make an appointment to have a flu vaccine at United Medical Center’s Primary Care Clinic by calling (202) 574 – 6141. “It is not too early,” said Dr. Craig. The hospital is prepared to give vaccines and treat individuals who are diagnosed with the flu.”
About United Medical Center: United Medical Center, an acute care hospital, offers community-based professional healthcare services to the residents of Ward 7, Ward 8 and bordering southern Prince George’s County communities. The hospital has hired new physicians including primary care doctors, cardiologists, urologists and other specialists. The hospital also continues to enhance the technologies that are used to help diagnose and treat illnesses. United Medical Center was the first hospital in the mid-Atlantic region to offer Microdose, a diagnostic device that provides the lowest dose of radiation for mammograms. For more information about United Medical Center, visit www.united-medicalcenter.com. Facebook: UnitedMedicalCenterDC. Twitter: @UMC_DC
Contact: David Thompson
Not-for-Profit Hospital Corporation
Main: (202) 574 – 5450
Cell: (301) 785 – 7670