No one wants to get the flu, much less get it twice in the same season. There are few illnesses that are more unpleasant than the flu, with fever, aches and pains, cough, sore throat, and fatigue topping a long list of flu symptoms.
While most people recover from the flu after 1-2 weeks, it doesn’t mean that you’re immune from getting it again. In fact, you can be reinfected with the flu within a few weeks.
Keep reading to learn why you can get the flu more than once, where you can get tested for the flu and the best way to prevent getting the flu twice (or at all!) this year.
Yes, it is possible to get the flu twice in one season – mainly because there’s usually more than one strain of the flu virus floating around at the same time. Even after having the flu, you don’t necessarily have full immunity against other strains.
Your body will build some immunity against the strain of flu virus that infected you. However, the flu virus is constantly changing itself to find new ways to attack your immune system. Your body won’t have immunity to any of these changes, making you vulnerable to the flu once again.
There are also multiple types of flu out there, such as flu A and flu B. Getting one type of flu provides no immunity for another, especially without a seasonal flu shot.
You’re most at risk of getting reinfected with flu if you’re not vaccinated, have medical conditions, take medications that suppress your immune system, or don’t practice flu prevention habits (washing your hands frequently, avoiding crowded places, etc.).
Flu A and flu B are the two types of flu that frequently spread in humans.
Flu A is worse than flu B and can cause severe diseases, such as avian or swine flu. Wild birds and other animals are often the hosts for flu A viruses, which also mutate 2-3 times faster than flu B viruses. Flu B almost exclusively infects humans and is less common than flu A.
All vybe urgent care locations offer rapid flu tests and have clinicians who can provide you with a treatment plan. While most symptoms can be managed at home, it’s important to know if you have the flu so you can take the necessary precautions around others.
Most flu symptoms should resolve themselves with over-the-counter medications, hydration, and rest. For those most susceptible to complications from the flu, such as people with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, a clinician can prescribe antiviral drugs (like Tamiflu) for flu treatment. Since the flu is a virus, antibiotics are not prescribed for treatment.
If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve after 1-2 weeks, seek medical care. If you have trouble breathing, chest pain, extreme weakness, or cannot stop vomiting, visit the ER.
Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to build immunity and protect yourself from the flu. A seasonal vaccine protects against the four influenza viruses that researchers expect to be most common during the upcoming flu season.
The best time to get a flu shot is ideally in early to mid-fall before the peak of flu season. However, getting the shot later in the season (January or beyond) can still be helpful.
Where can you get a flu shot? vybe, of course! We accept walk-ins and appointments for all urgent care services, including flu vaccines, seven days a week.
Getting the flu is a miserable experience that you’ll never want to repeat – but it can happen twice in a single season.
Protect yourself by getting a seasonal flu shot at vybe. With urgent care locations across Greater Philadelphia, it’s easy to find a vybe near you. Already not feeling well? Walk in or schedule an appointment at your local vybe urgent care to get a rapid flu test.
All vybe centers have licensed medical professionals with a wide range of healthcare knowledge. Together, we’ll help you fight the flu.FIND YOUR VYBE