Friday, January 11, 2013

Watch out for the flu!

The flu season is upon us, quite early this year, and flu is officially now an epidemic.  The CDC warns it may have weeks to run yet although they hope it will begin to wane soon.  The good news is that the vaccine is about 60% effective against the circulating influenza viruses this year.  The bad news is that even with the vaccine, you may not have complete protection--although if you do get the flu, it should be attenuated compared to an unprotected person.  There's also a very nasty cold (not flu) going around.

People die of the flu, particularly at risk being the elderly and very young.  Indeed, last week over 7% of the deaths in the country were ascribed to influenza.  It's a very nasty respiratory disease (the so called "stomach flu" isn't flu at all).

What can you do?  First, it's not too late to get a vaccine--this will be around for a while even if the peak passes.  Second, if you are sick, stay home !  Don't spread i t around.  Keep warm, drink liquids, and seek medical help if needed.  Third, if you are out and about, wash your hands frequently, and maybe keep some hand sanitizer nearby.  Be careful about touching your face or eyes, if you have touched "public" things without washing.  When I'm on the train and there's a snuffly sneezy person nearby, I admit....I move seats.

Let's stay well out there!

1 comment:

JCF said...

My dad has that "nasty cold", so if y'all have any spare prayers lying around for a 92 y.o. WW2 vet (upon whom Yours Truly financially depends), please send them his way.

Speaking of financial dependence: before 2010, I'd never had a flu vaccine. I was under 50, and uninsured---between the cost, and my cohort, it just didn't seem doable.

The last time I'm sure I had the flu was (IIRC) 1992 (sicker than a dog!). I've had some bad colds since (the kind that took weeks to fully rid myself of), but on the whole, I know how lucky I've been...