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Flu Season is Here Dammit!
Cold and flu season is here! In fact, health officials say we’re experiencing a national flu epidemic. The death rate crossed the threshold of 7.2 percent an gained epidemic status with 20 children having died so far. Still, the Centers Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that the number of new cases appears to tapering off. But it’s still key to take protective measures.
Many, many states are being hit harder than they had been in a decade. Preliminary data suggest that the worst may already be behind us. Sixteen (16) states are already reporting moderate flu activity and ten are currently reporting low levels.
There is still more than a month left in the current flu season and getting a flu shot may prove difficult this late in the game. 135 million doses have been produced for the year and 128 million have already been distributed. In response, the CDC has created a handy flu shot locator that helps find a vaccine availability near you.
Whether you plan to get the shot soon or have recently been vaccinated, there are some important things to know about the vaccine. First, it takes two weeks after being vaccinated for the body to develop an immunity to the virus. Therefore, you should continue to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick. Vaccination should be a priority for young children, people over 65 years-old, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses as these are the people most at risk.
Even after getting a flu shot you should avoid contact with sick individuals, wash your hands frequently, and keep some hand-sanitizer nearby. If you are already affected by the flu, I hope you’re reading this from home! Staying home is the most effective way of preventing the virus from spreading. If you must go out to seek medical attention or for necessities, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Tissues and handkerchiefs are better than your bare hands which go on to touch door handles, shopping carts, and other people.
Plus, here’s an interesting fact: sneezing into the bend between your forearm and bicep has been shown to be the best cover method for keeping germy particles out of the air.