The Flu is Still Going Strong | Health Eagle

The Flu is Still Going Strong

by Kimberly Hays April 2nd, 2013 | Common Conditions
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kleenexWith it now officially spring, we expect the flu bugs to die, so we can put the cough medicines, fever reducers, and Kleenex away. Usually, this is what happens when spring arrives, but we are not out of the woods just yet. Where the country still has snow and freezing temperatures, doctors’ offices are still seeing flu cases, extreme colds, and other respiratory illnesses.

Even though flu season normally runs through many states through March, most states that usually warm up in March are seeing the flu virus holding on because of the colder temperatures. Experts say that it is hard to predict the severity every year, and they may have missed the mark this year, as it is on target to be one of the worst in years.

Usually, the number of cases of the flu goes down when spring arrives, because the weather is warmer, and people go outside away from close quarters. It is an environmental problem. There is also the break from the dry winter air when it warms up, because in winter, the dry air causes dry nasal passages where the flu virus can easily enter and cause illness.

Staying healthy is our best defense, and one must follow the sometimes forgotten rules to keep the spread of germs down. Eat a healthy diet, which would be low in fat and sugars, exercise, and get plenty of rest. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, cleaning surfaces at home and at the office with disinfectant spray, and staying home if you are sick so other people are not infected. If you are caring or someone with the flu, be sure to wash all of the linens in hot water to kill the virus.

Remember, too, that the best defense against the flu virus is by getting a flu vaccine. Flu.gov reports that 90% of the children who died from the flu and flu related symptoms did not get a flu shot. Six pediatric deaths were reported as recently as the week of March 10th – 16th. This brings the total to 105 pediatric deaths so far for this flu season. In seniors, the flu shot proved to be less effective this year in their category, but still offered more protection than no vaccine. The CDC reports that the number of deaths in seniors is above epidemic levels this year mainly due to pneumonia after the flu.

As soon as the weather breaks and we are able to get outside, the flu virus will dissipate, and hopefully it will be soon. You will just need to take safety precautions for a few more weeks to protect yourself and your family.

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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.