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While the holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and loved ones – passing around the turkey or passing each other gifts – it’s also the time to pass a cold or even the flu to someone if you catch either of those.

It’s not easy to determine what the flu season is going to be like until it hits. A couple of years ago, it hit the United States quite hard. This past season, it was a little less severe, but still considered deadly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it was estimated that more than 50,000 people across the country died as a result.

According to the CDC, both the cold and flu are similar because they are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. However, a cold is usually less severe than the flu. The symptoms for both can be the same, you may suffer from a runny nose and congestion. While a cold is usually milder in its symptoms, the flu can cause some serious and potentially deadly issues in some people.

With the flu, you may suffer from a series of other ailments you may not have with a cold, such as body aches, extreme fatigue, fever, chills, and possibly vomiting or diarrhea. The cold is usually gradual, but the flu can be quick. Some people get over the flu just as quickly, but others could get even sicker, with some developing more serious problems such as pneumonia.

According to health care providers, pneumonia becomes serious when it settles in the lungs. Children, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions can be susceptible. Unfortunately, if it goes untreated it can get worse and it could eventually become fatal.

Banner Urgent Care in Casa Grande at 1676 E. McMurray Blvd, Ste 1, is available if people are suffering from a severe cold, or if they think they may have the flu. However, if your symptoms of either develop into something even worse and you are having trouble breathing or having seizures, call 9-1-1 immediately. Banner Casa Grande Medical Center’s Emergency room is available for those who may be suffering from more severe cases, like the flu or pneumonia.

If you are looking at not getting sick this season, prevention for you and your loved ones is going to be important. In addition to good hygiene practices like washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, getting enough rest, drinking plenty of liquids, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeing your doctor regularly, other ways to prevent getting sick include:

  • Coughing or sneezing in the crook of your arm to prevent the spread of germs from one person to another. If you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, use your arm as guard. If you can’t do that, try to cover your nose and mouth with something so not to spread germs.
  • Getting a flu vaccination. While flu shots are not 100% effective against the flu, medical experts agree that the flu vaccine is still one of the best defenses when it comes to preventing the flu or helping people recover faster should they get the flu.

The CDC still reported a very active 2018-2019 flu season across the country. From Oct. 1, 2018 to May 4, 2019, the CDC estimates:

  • 4 million to 42.9 million people got the flu
  • 3 million to 20.1 million were treated for the flu by a health care provider
  • 531,000 to 674,000 were hospitalized for the flu
  • 36,400 to 61,200 died as a result of the flu

So, if you think you may have the flu, the CDC says these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some may suffer from vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

If you think you may be suffering from a cold, the CDC says these are the most common symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

Should you get sick from either a cold or the flu, it’s important to also check with your regular doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms. Your doctor should have your complete medical information and can advise how you should best be treated for cold or flu symptoms.

For more information about the services provided at Banner Urgent Care, and to find a location near you, please visit www.BannerHealth.com/urgentcare. For more information about the services provided at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, please visit www.BannerHealth.com/casagrande.


Sponsored content

It’s been about a year since Banner Casa Grande Medical Center received its daVinci Xi Surgical System. This advanced piece of technology has served the community well in the months that it’s been used, with 433 robotic surgical procedures performed and documented at the hospital, from Sept. 19, 2017, to July 31, 2018.

“This surgical robot is more than just about having the best technology available,” said Rona Curphy, CEO of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. “Our main goal is making sure our patients have the best possible surgical outcomes. We really have been pleased that we can provide such a great service to the people that live in our community.”

Since its inception, the daVinci Xi Surgical System has helped surgeons at Banner Casa Grande perform more than 400 hernia repairs, and nearly 150 colon resections. Other treatments that have been performed using this technology include spleen and bladder surgical procedures. Patients who have undergone some of these procedures have been able to take advantage of the benefits of the robot, including a shorter length of stay in the hospital, fewer complications, and less blood loss.

The da Vinci Xi system uses four robotic arms that provide surgeons with greater precision, control and access to areas that are otherwise hard to reach. Surgeons control the movements of the arms, performing complex surgeries with only a few small incisions. The robotic arms include mechanical wrists that bend and rotate in ways similar to the movements of a human wrist. To see if you qualify for a robotic surgical procedure using the daVinci Xi Surgical System, please consult with your primary care physician.

Banner Casa Grande Medical Center is a full-service, community hospital providing comprehensive quality care to the Casa Grande Valley as well as the surrounding communities of western Pinal County. The hospital offers a variety of medical specialties including: cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, neurology, oncology, pediatrics, psychiatry and urology. Banner Casa Grande is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 28 acute-care hospitals in six states. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/casagrande.