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Flu Updates and Information

Flu: Updates and Information

Baptist Health is working closely with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure our patients, physicians, healthcare providers and community have the latest information about influenza (flu). This page will be updated as new information arises. 

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications.

Immunizations and Prevention

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. The Florida Department of Health recommends that those who have not been vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Though flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season, flu vaccines are safe and are the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications if one develops flu symptoms in spite of vaccination. To locate a flu shot near you, please visit www.floridahealth.gov/findaflushot.

Flu shots are available at Baptist Health Primary Care offices.

Free flu vaccines are also available for adults and children ages four and up, while supplies last, at the following locations*:

Baptist Health Express Care | Country Walk
15721 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33187

Baptist Health Express Care | Key Biscayne
240 Crandon Boulevard, Suite 110
Miami, FL 33149

Express Care is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A nurse practitioner, along with a full clinical support team, is available during hours of operation. For any questions, visit BaptistHealth.net/ExpressCare.

*Offer is not contingent upon receiving additional services at Express Care or other Baptist Health facilities.

Prevent the Spread of Germs

 Aside from getting a flu vaccine, which is the most important step in preventing flu, the CDC urges people to take everyday preventive actions to protect themselves and others from the flu and other respiratory illnesses.

• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Flu Symptoms

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.


Getting Care for the Flu

Care On Demand

Baptist Health offers Care On Demand, an online service that provides immediate access to a physician online using a smart phone or computer.

Through February 28, 2018, receive 50 percent off a Baptist Health Care On Demand visit. Click here to get the special coupon code. Physicians are available online 24 hours a day, and no appointment is necessary.

Care on Demand is one of five simple healthcare options to help you get the care you deserve in the most convenient way. Visit BaptistHealth.net/Carevenience and enter your symptoms to receive suggestions on where to go for the care you need.


Baptist Health Locations

Primary Care 

Express and Urgent Care Centers 

Hospital Emergency Departments



Find a doctor affiliated with Baptist Health. You also can call our physician referral phone line: 786-596-6557.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information provided from the CDC


What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

How does flu spread?
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

What is the period of contagiousness?
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.

How long is the period between infection and the onset of symptoms?
The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus and infected to when symptoms begin is about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.

What are the complications of flu?
Complications of flu can include influenza pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

Who is at high risk from flu?
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

How is flu diagnosed?
​It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. There are tests available to diagnose flu. More information is available: Diagnosing Flu.

What is the treatment for flu?
There are influenza antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
More information is available: Seasonal Influenza, More Information

Additional Information

Flu Cases Rising at Emergency Rooms, Doctors’ Offices
Flu-Related Visits to Children’s Emergency Departments Increase 100 Percent
Flu May Be Spread By Just Breathing, Study Finds
Flu Season Off to a Busy Start, CDC Urges Vaccinations

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