Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time. Opinions shared here are my own.
This flu season is a very bad flu season, I know first hand how bad it is because it was in my house over Christmas. This is the second year in a row that my poor son had the flu on Christmas. My mom came to visit from Florida and was on a plane where the kids sitting right behind her were coughing the entire time. They must have still had flu germs because two days later my step dad was sick, then my son got sick, then my daughter and mother got sick. My stepdad went to the doctor almost too late for an antiviral medication. My mom got the medication right away because he was sick and as soon as my kids had a fever I took them to the doctor get get the antiviral medications. The Antiviral medication if taken within the fist 24-36 hours will lesson the time of the flu. My kids got better faster than my mom, which could be due to their age and the fact that they had the antivirals so quickly after they came down with the flu.
Get your flu vaccination if you haven’t yet, and if you are sick with flu-like symptoms, take flu antivirals if your doctor prescribes them. Early treatment with antivirals could keep you out of the hospital and even save your life.
The CDC is still encouraging anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get a flu vaccine. The flu typically peaks between December and February and can last until May. Getting a vaccine benefits you and those around you. If you are in the risk category you should still get one. I mean, just go get one it’s worth it. I had one and I didn’t get sick while my whole family went down around me. The “H3N2” predominant strain is a particularly nasty strain of the flu virus, and in years where H3N2 has circulated so highly, there tends to be more hospitalizations and, sadly, more deaths. And even though this year’s shot is a poor match for the H3N2 Virus the CDC is still encouraging you to get a vaccine!
Make sure you wash your hands constantly and follow these tips from the CDC:
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
· High risk for serious illness from flu includes children younger than 2, pregnant women, adults 65+, people with diabetes, lung disease, or other chronic condition….you should check in with your doctor right away if you have flu symptoms.
· CDC has recommended the use of antiviral drugs as an adjunct to vaccination. They’re the only medicines that can specifically treat flu. CDC scientists have looked very carefully at the use of influenza drugs in the clinical setting, and the conclusion is clear, they work but they aren’t being used nearly enough.
· Quick antiviral treatment can mean the difference between a milder illness and a stay in the hospital or even death.
The flu vaccine protects against three or four different influenza viruses, depending on which vaccine you get (trivalent or quadrivalent). And by getting the vaccine it can reduce the amount of missed work or school and flu-related complications. Please think about getting a vaccine if you haven’t gotten one yet.