Flu Update – November | Health Eagle

Flu Update – November

by Lori Sciame November 14th, 2011 | Diseases
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Current information supplied by Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) contends that flu activity was low across the United States in the week ending October 29th. More specifically, the FluView Report provides the following update:

“No states reported widespread, regional or local influenza activity. Sporadic influenza activity was reported by 19 states (an increase from 18 states last week), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Thirty-one states (a decrease from 32 states last week), Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.”

Citizens need to know that even though there is little flu activity right now across the nation, it is still unknown whether this flu season will be mild. In addition, cases of the flu tend to peak after the first of the year, so people need to remain vigilant in taking measures to stop the spread of illness throughout the coming months.

One way to avoid coming down with the flu is by getting vaccinated. Health care providers, health departments, and pharmacies all offer flu shots for $25 – $35 (in most cases). It is recommended that every citizen, 6 months or older, should receive the vaccination, which takes approximately two weeks to begin to offer protection. The good news is that the CDC contends that plenty of the flu vaccine is currently available.

Another way citizens can increase their chances of avoiding this sometimes debilitating respiratory virus is by washing their hands with soap and water. If these are not available, alcohol-based hand rubs should be used. Although not always feasible, staying away from those who are sick with seasonal influenza can offer protection as well.

The CDC suggests that people avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is because, “germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.” They also urge people to practice healthy behaviors, such as exercising, eating nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, managing stress, and getting plenty of sleep.

On December 4th – 10th, National Influenza Vaccination Week will highlight the importance of getting flu vaccinations even as late as after the holiday season. On their website, the CDC offers educational information and public service announcements for the yearly event to help spread the word that seasonal influenza can have devastating effects on individuals, as well as on schools and businesses. Also to be highlighted during the week is the fact that those with special health concerns, such as asthma or diabetes, should be especially careful to avoid contacting the flu.

To learn more about National Influenza Vaccination Week, about influenza in general, or about current flu activity, click on this link.

Influenza should not be taken lightly. This is because it can cause death in vulnerable populations. Your best protection is prevention, so make sure to regularly wash your hands, avoid those who are sick with the virus, and most importantly – get your flu shot. You’ll be glad you did.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.