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Don’t let flu get you
by Chip Latcham
Jan 09, 2013 | 1239 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The flu outbreak in 2013 is expected to be among the worst in a decade, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Already, the virus has been reported in 41 states – 29 of which are reporting high or “severe” levels, according to the New York Daily News.

Children and teens, as well as the elderly, are most susceptible to this year’s common strain, H3N2. Sadly, 18 children had died from flu-like complications nationwide as of Jan. 7.

In Texas, the spread of influenza was cited as “widespread” and intensity of flu-like illness was “high,” according to the latest figures from the Department of State Health Services.

The percentage of doctor visits prompted by flu-like illness showed a precipitous spike for the last week of December, earlier than usually reported in Texas.

Many of us, when looking around the office or classroom, know of fellow workers/students who have come down with the flu bug. Though its effects are much more severe on babies and senior citizens, even young, healthy persons are not immune to the flu’s ravages.

The usual symptoms are easy to spot: high fever (100 degrees or greater); muscle aches; body chills; and extreme fatigue. Others may include a headache, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, vomiting and diarrhea.

There is a vast array of information online regarding what to do to prevent the flu. Perhaps the most important advice is to get a flu shot. It’s not too late. They usually don’t require a long wait, don’t hurt and are inexpensive.

The CDC recommends that persons take preventive action:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If they are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

And, by all means, if you get sick with the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

See your doctor so he or she can prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your illness. They can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also may prevent serious complications.

Here’s wishing all our readers the best of health as we begin the new year.

– Chip Latcham
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