Focus On Flu… Prevention Not Panic

“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”

  • Benjamin Franklin

Epidemic Flu is not a new or rare occurrence. The website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “the United States experiences epidemics of seasonal flu each year.”  Reporting often designates particular years as being stand-out flu years and we are in the midst of what is being reported as a “severe” flu season at present.  During the flu season, cases are commonly widespread and this year is not an exception.  Much media attention has been given to the most tragic outcomes of influenza infection but reports like these may raise false alarm if they do not include the relevant facts. The latest data from the CDC shows that the loss of life for the flu season 2014, which was also considered to be severe, was less than the leading non-contagious diseases.  In fact, heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and diabetes all contributed individually to more deaths than influenza that year.  That puts the likelihood of a flu fatality into better perspective.

Panic as a reaction to flu concerns can cause stress which is also associated with contributing to health problems. Instead, the emphasis should be on flu prevention.  First, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccination.  In addition, add these preventative measures to your daily routine:

  • Try to 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 with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information on influenza visit the CDC Website:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

May you stay ‘flu- free!’