U.S. is in the grip of the Flu virus once again. It seems to be particularly worse this year, with numerous deaths reported from different states.
USA today reports that the death toll is climbing daily and the emergency rooms of hospitals are struggling to tackle the surging crowds. As of 10th January, there were 23 flu deaths in Minnesota, Pennsylvania at 22; Massachusetts, 18; Oklahoma, 8; and Illinois, 6. Nine nursing home residents have died in New York, while 2 children in Florida were among 18 pediatric deaths nationwide.
Instead of panicking, take the following precautions, as mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect yourself from flu.
- As far as possible, try and avoid being near a person who is sick, since flu is highly contagious.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay at home for at least 24 hours even after your fever has gone. This fever-less state should be without the help of any drugs.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Please throw the tissue in the nearest trashcan.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer.
- Do not touch your face unnecessarily, for germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may harbor potential flu viruses.
- Antiviral drugs will treat flu
- Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
- Remember to take your antiviral drugs. Not only will it reduce your sick time, but will also make the symptoms much milder, and most importantly will protect you from serious flu complications.
- Last but not the least, get that yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
Flu-like symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Chills and fatigue
- May even have vomiting and diarrhea
- Some may even have respiratory symptoms without a fever
Stay warm, stay safe, take the above mentioned precautions, and in case you show any flu-like symptoms, do not ignore it, go to the nearest health professional to get yourself treated.