Updated: Nov 22, 2021
What are the facts?
- We are in the midst of 2019 flu season and February is, historically, the month with the highest rate of Influenza.
- The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
- The flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of flu and its potentially serious consequences.
- Acutis Reveal can determine if you are suffering from the flu or simply a cold.
The facts are not in dispute: Get vaccinated today.
As we wrote elsewhere, flu is not easy. One reason, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reminds us, is that each season introduces different viruses. To provide optimum protection, the makeup of U.S. flu vaccines is updated to match the current circulating flu viruses.
Once you’ve received your shot, it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to develop in the body. So, even if you haven’t had the shot yet, this is a case where later is better than never. As the season could last well into May, even a late vaccination can prove beneficial. This is especially true for high-risk individuals. These include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and the elderly.
The words “Flu Season” are meant to be taken literally. They are not used metaphorically. It is not medicine taking poetic license. Flu can be active from October until May.
As the flu spreads—from the most intimate settings, to the most public spaces—the Centers for Disease Control suggests we take these precautions to stop the spread of the viruses:
· As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with people suffering from the flu or who show signs of the flu.
· If you’re ill, limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
· If you have flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Leave your home only to seek medical care or for other necessities.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and then wash your hands.
· Wash your hands frequently using soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
· Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu germs.
Flu vs Cold
One of the most confusing aspects of the flu is that its signs and symptoms resemble the common cold and other less dangerous illnesses. See the list below to better determine the nature of your illness, or those of the people around you.
Flu complications can be more than a little complicated
Most people who get the flu will recover in anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. But for those who develop complications such as pneumonia, complications can lead to serious illness, even death.
Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from the flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria. Other possible serious complications triggered by the flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis), or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues, and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu virus infection of the respiratory tract can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection.
The flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience more violent asthma attacks when suffering from the flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of their condition.
What are the emergency warning signs of influenza in infants, children and adults?
Infants. Pay close attention to these signs: · No appetite or unable to eat · Difficulty breathing · No tears when crying · Fewer wet diapers than normal
Children. Watch for these symptoms: · Fast breathing or trouble breathing · Bluish skin color · Refusing fluids · Difficulty waking or interacting · Irritability and refusing to be held · “False recovery”— a fever returns along with painful cough · Fever with a rash
Adult. Look for these indications: · Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath · Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen · Sudden dizziness · Confusion · Severe or persistent vomiting · Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough