No fear of the flu! It’s not that bad

As we approach the most heart-wrenching part of the year, U.S. Aboistposisis cases (on the Order of the sick bird flu virus, pictured above), the number of flu-related deaths for the current year hit 42 on Wednesday. While this is normal, the previous high for the current flu season has been 42, on January 9, 2015.

Without further ado, here are the top five things to keep in mind about the flu:

1. Once again, it’s spreading.

2. Increased occurrence of hospitalization.

3. Single pediatric death.

4. Handwashing down, eye washing up.

5. Importance of pregnant women to stay away from school to minimize future exposure.

The flu is very deadly with more than 150,000 people treated in hospitals and more than 20,000 deaths each year. And while the incidence is decreasing from year to year, the volume of flu cases is increasing. Remember, when running a school-wide eye wash program, the final count is always number of inches of greasy mucus in the nose. And with flu season underway, the sheer volume of students preparing to face the nation’s school system is not going away. Let’s keep in mind what any school parent will attest: How can you be expected to get up, then go to the restroom at the same time every single day. Of course, note that one parent is counted among five other parents during the school day. Just a reminder for school administrators about the proper transmission of germs on a daily basis.

Infant deaths of mothers in healthcare settings have also risen as a result of influenza.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the worst flu season in a decade was once again experienced by many. While these rates typically fluctuate, the 2013-2014 season caused more hospitalizations than prior season. However, one stand-out flu season stands out. The season of 2009-2010 was the first season that resulted in the flu pandemic known as the H1N1 outbreak. More than 61 million people worldwide were reported ill with influenza and more than 9,000 people died.

Some pregnant women experience severe complications during a flu virus. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to stay away from school and work to minimize their subsequent exposure to the flu virus. The first thing that should be addressed is proper education regarding the appropriate influenza precautions during pregnancy. Infant deaths of mothers in healthcare settings have also risen as a result of influenza. Those attending school should be on heightened alert as well, no matter which illnesses are circulating in their areas.

Medical attention to help get pregnant women and their babies healthy while in the womb is also something that everyone should consider before getting sick. Doing so reduces the risk of exposure to a potentially deadly virus. The latter situation remains especially true for older adults, children, and pregnant women. Do not try to reinfect the population by going to work. That only increases the chances of the flu spreading to others who may not be fully immune to the disease. While the estimated vaccine effectiveness rate of 12-15 percent makes the flu vaccine an extremely valuable option, having the flu-fighting powers from when you were sick can be a real lifesaver. Those affected need to stay home, do not go to work or school and do not be in close contact with any children or adults.

Since childhood does not pass easily from year to year, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine as well as annual influenza vaccinations is negated by sub-optimal immunity from the previous season. Thus, antiviral medications are seen by medical professionals as an important means to limit illness and severity. However, they are not available for everyone, as the strain of the flu virus that resides in your body is always different from year to year. The medicine typically requires two doses that take a few days to take effect. Additionally, though Tamiflu is recommended, anyone with influenza-like symptoms, or a serious underlying medical condition can die, should he or she be exposed to the virus. A doctor can then prescribe as many as four powerful antibiotics to stop the disease.

Since much of this information is not specific to Pennsylvania, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and/or the best health blog of course can all help you stay on top of the latest in flu-related information and prevention.

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