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Coughing, sneezing, or sniffling? Here’s how you can prevent and treat acute respiratory infections

As wintertime hits, seasonal illnesses and allergies are in the air. Along with those illnesses come the likely possibility that you could experience an acute respiratory infection.

An acute respiratory infection is an infection that interferes with normal breathing patterns. These infections may start out in just the sinuses or throat but can eventually work their way towards the lungs.

The minor symptoms of an acute respiratory infection include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and body aches. However, an advanced respiratory infection may lead to extreme symptoms such as high fever, difficulty breathing, and potentially a loss of consciousness.

Additionally, an acute respiratory infection can become increasingly dangerous for young children, adults with chronic conditions, and older adults.

So what can you do to prevent and treat acute respiratory infections during the wintertime?

Get your flu shot and practice good hygiene

The flu and the common cold can enhance a person’s likelihood of getting an acute respiratory infection. The best way to prevent either is to get a flu shot.

The flu shot helps a person’s immune system to fight off the latest influenza strain by creating antibodies that specifically fight the flu. But the flu strain changes annually and requires a person to get a flu shot each year. Medical professionals recommend that most children and adults should get their flu vaccination once a year.

In addition, practicing good hygiene throughout flu season keeps germs away and lowers your chances of getting sick. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer to disinfect after touching public services, and limit contact or sharing items with infected individuals.

Go to an urgent care center for symptom treatment

If you have an acute respiratory infection then you’ll likely need treatment of some of the most common symptoms. For any respiratory treatment needs, you’ll want to visit an urgent care center ASAP.

Urgent care centers are equipped with physicians and staff that can treat cold and flu symptoms, sinus infections, and similar respiratory irritations. Additionally, an urgent care center can catch an acute respiratory infection early on with x-rays and imaging tests to find the infection. If you believe you have a respiratory infection then visit your nearest medical professional ASAP. 

If a respiratory infection becomes a more severe condition, then your urgent care center will likely refer you to a specialist provider or hospital for enhanced treatment.

A solid mix of prevention and early treatment help make addressing acute respiratory infections as easy as possible!