Concorde Blog - Dec 12, 2019
The flu seems to grab everyone's attention during the winter months. Some years the flu hits the U.S. harder than others, Reader's Digest called the 2018 flu season one of the worst since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, and 2019 is seeing roughly 45 states with widespread flu activity per the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as of February. Good news is this year's vaccine has been a better match, with the H1N1 strain being the most common.
Experts warn that young children and adults over 65 are particularly vulnerable. Of course, we want all our Concorde students, faculty, staff and their families to remain safe and healthy. So we thought we'd take some time to impart some health care awareness about what the flu season and give some tips on how to avoid the flu.
health care awareness about flu season
You can get the flu at anytime, but the flu season is considered the months between October and March, sometimes even to April. The flu season usually peaks in February in the US, says William Schaffner, MD, medical directory of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
In a CBS News Article last year, Dr. Claire Bhocchini, infectious disease specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, said, "The flu is very dangerous. It's not your regular virus that gives you a couple days of a runny nose."
CBS News medical contributor, Dr. Tara Narula, said the strain of Flu that spread last year, the H3N2, tends to hit younger and older people harder than others.
The CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 range from 7,000 to 26,000 a year in the U.S. Since the 2004-05 season, between 37-171 children have died of the flu each year.
Adults age 65 and older are also at a higher risk and typically account for most flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations. This is due to weakened immune systems compared to younger adults.
Also anyone with a chronic medical condition is prone to having complications due to flu. Such conditions can include: Asthma, Diabetes, Heart disease, Obesity, and a compromised immune system due to cancer, HIV, or other conditions.
How to deal with the flu?
If you feel: achy, feverish, have chills/sweats, are tired and weak or have an upset stomach, you may have the flu.
If you find yourself feeling this way, experts recommend limiting contact with the general public, especially at higher risk segments, such as infants and elderly, when your exhibiting these symptoms.
If you become sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and avoid rubbing your nose and mouth with your hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that might be contaminated with germs like the flu. Doing all of these things will help you control your health while dealing with the flu.
5 tips for avoiding the flu
Check out our quick video of five quick tips that health care professionals are encouraging folks to heed during the flu season.
They may seem easy to implement, but which could you do a bit more? Make it a family challenge or grab a buddy from your cohort and keep each other accountable. Because let's face it, we're busy, goal-oriented people, we don't have time to be bogged down by sickness.
We've got places to go and people to see!