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Preparing for the 2019/20 Flu Season

Over the course of his decade-long career, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has worked at top-of-the-line medical centers across California. As an emergency physician for the Cedar-Sinai trauma center, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has encountered patients needing immediate care due to influenza-related complications.

Every flu season, the World Health Organization publishes frequently updated information about the most prevalent strains of influenza and areas where transmission rates are high. At the start of the 2019 season, influenza rates increased in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, West Africa, and Central America.

In the US, several fatal cases had already been reported. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the 2019 vaccine is a good match for the most commonly reported flu strains. Along with most medical professionals, The CDC advises anyone older than 6 months old to be inoculated against the flu at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the flu season, which starts in October in the US.

Do I Need Medical Care after a Car Accident?

A board-certified emergency medicine physician in Los Angeles, Zachary Lutsky, MD, has been an attending physician at such institutions as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. As such at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Zachary Lutsky practiced at a level 1 trauma center and handled car accident-related injuries and other emergencies.

Car accidents occur for various reasons, ranging from texting and driving to changing the radio station. Whenever you get into a car accident, your adrenaline, anxiety, and/or tension levels will be high. This can mask certain injuries, so it’s important that you get your emotions under control after such accidents. Remain as calm as possible while self-assessing your injuries as well as you can. Don’t assume that you aren’t injured just because your car experienced little damage and the accident was otherwise minor. Regardless of how much damage your vehicle incurs, you can still sustain serious injuries.

For any noticeable injuries, like uncontrollable bleeding, severe trauma, or broken bones, always visit the emergency room for medical treatment. Although you may not feel such injuries because of the adrenaline spikes that are common after an accident, you will probably be able to see them. Other issues, such as breathing problems or neck pain, also require emergency attention.

If you neither feel pain nor see injuries, you may be able to wait to receive medical care through either urgent care or an appointment with your primary care physician. However, it remains essential that you get medical care at some point, even if you feel fine for several days. This is important for diagnosing and treating injuries that resulted from your accident but whose symptoms may not be immediately apparent.

Three Things That Limit Your Risk of the Flu

Flu shot
Flu shot Photo by Hyttalo Souza on Unsplash

California-based emergency medicine physician Dr. Zachary Lutsky spent 12 years as an attending physician at a level 1 trauma center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Board-certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Zachary Lutsky maintains a professional interest in a range of public health matters, including the flu epidemic.

Whether you’ve gotten a flu shot or not, there is not 100 percent guarantee that you will be protected from the virus come flu season. However, there are several behaviors that reduce your risk of the flu. Below are a few examples:

Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
Even if you wash your hands regularly, they won’t remain clean at every point of your day. Because of this, always avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose since these are the areas of your body that most easily absorb germs. This is particularly true when you’re in a public place.

Skip the crowds
Completely isolating yourself from other people during the flu season isn’t realistic, but you should stay away from crowded places as much as possible. Crowded places, particularly places with a large number of the elderly or children, present a high risk of contracting the flu. In situations when you cannot avoid crowded spots, make sure you carry hand sanitizer and keep your distance around sneezing individuals.

Disinfect common surfaces
Computer equipment, phones, and other common surfaces at your workplace are breeding grounds for germs. To limit your exposure, make sure these areas are kept clean and disinfected, and avoid using a coworker’s phone or desk, if you can. At home, regularly clean kitchen counters, bathrooms and any other locations that come into contact with noses or mouths.