How to Survive the Worst Flu Season in a Decade

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Teenage boy getting vaccination shot flu in his arm
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The “worst flu season in a decade” flu has killed 84 children and remains widespread in 48 states, according to USA Today.

And it’s expected to continue for several more weeks.

Fortunately, there is still time to protect yourself and your family!

Even if you missed getting the flu vaccine months ago, health experts still recommended you get vaccinated—it can lessen flu severity, keep people from the hospital, and save lives.

“Any type of vaccine is better than none,” Scott Hensley, a University of Pennsylvania microbiologist who has led studies that raised critical questions about the vaccine, told the Associated Press.

This is big for Latinos, who are much less likely to get vaccinated than their peers.

Why Get Vaccinated?

4 in 5 flu-associated deaths in children occur in those who were NOT vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such a pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the CDC.

1982-1983 though 2015-2016 (CDC)

February is peak flu season.

People with the flu can spread it to others to about 6 feet away…WOW! According to the CDC most experts think that the flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or even talk.

How to Prevent the Flu

Get the flu vaccine (even if it’s effectiveness isn’t perfect)!

Beyond that, here are some other preventive measures, via CDC:

2. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

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

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

6. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

7. Follow public health advice if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.

Did you know that you can give someone the flu before even realize you have it yourself?

According to the CDC you can infect other people beginning 1 day BEFORE symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

How to Know if the Flu Turns Deadly

The flu can easily turn into pneumonia, sepsis, or even heart attack.

Children with underlying medical problems are at a increased risk for developing influenza related complications, but half of the children hospitalized this flu season did not have underlying chronic conditions, and that’s not unusual, CDC reports, according to the New York Times.

But how do you know if flu has turned more serious?

Signs to watch for in children are persistent high fever or recurrent fever may mean the child has developed a complication, according to the New York Times

And again, it’s still not too late to get the flu shot.

Check local listings to find out where you can receive the flu shot. Some places even give free flu shots.

By The Numbers By The Numbers

100

percent

of healthcare workers should focus on infection control

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