We realize that everyone is quite concerned and focused on the Corona Virus (COVID-19), as we should be, however, it is important to remember that we are in the midst of flu season. This seasonal flu is still a very real threat and we want you to be aware and take every precaution.
What is the Flu?
The “flu” is a respiratory illness known as influenza. It is caused by a virus and is easily transmitted from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and droplets spraying from your mouth and nose. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe. The virus mutates or changes structure over time causing different symptoms from person to person.
When is Cold and Flu Season?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the season for cold and flu activity usually begins as early as October with the peak between December and February. Usually the flu season will last for about 12 weeks. This is of course dependent on region and the number of strains in circulation.
Ways to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
There are several simple ways in which you can prepare for the cold and flu season.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Minimize contact with anyone that is sick and keep your distance from those sneezing, coughing or that have runny noses
- Stock up on over-the-counter Vitamin C and cold and flu medicines.
- Consider getting a flu shot. According to the CDC it reduces the risk of getting the cold and flu by 50%.
Annual Flu Vaccine
According to the CDC, there is a benefit to getting an annual shot. It could protect you from having severe symptoms from the flu. Because flu viruses mutate so quickly, the vaccine developed or produced last year may fail to protect you from this year’s viruses. Therefore, new flu vaccines are released every year in an effort to keep up with the rapidly changing flu viruses. It is recommended to take seasonal flu shots for the sake of our health.
Common Flu Symptoms and Treatment Options
It is very important to recognize the symptoms of the flu early on so that you can start treatment and ease some of the discomfort. You might have a congested or runny nose and a sore throat. A frequent dry cough, muscle ache, and headache are additional symptoms. Oftentimes, you will have a fever (body temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) accompanied with chills and exhaustion (feeling extremely tired). Be sure to consult with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your doctor may perform a test to diagnose you with the flu, following he/she may prescribe you an antiviral medicine to lessen your symptoms. Getting plenty of rest and drink fluids, opt for clear liquids such as water, juice and broth to keep you hydrated. These are some of the most effective treatments to help your body fight the virus.
On a side note, I recently saw a cartoon where the writer said “that it was interesting to him that no one had died of “old age” this year, rather it seems as though everyone was dying of corona virus.” It’s important to realize that the same ailments that “took us down before” are still out there, it’s just not receiving the attention from the press like COVID-19.
At the end of the day, the same healthy practices that saved us before will save us now so let’s be diligent about common cold and flu preventative practices so we can live a long healthy life.