U.S. flu epidemic on the upswing widespread in 47 states
As the flu turned into an epidemic, widespread in 47 states, and has so far killed a total of 20 kids. Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months or older. 130 million and plus doses of flu vaccine were distributed this year so far, and at least 112 million have been used. To find more places where you can get a flu shot or for more information on season influenza click here.
– Sixteen states are reporting moderate levels.
– flu vaccine appears to be about 62% effective against the currently circulating strains
– The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children).
The American Red Cross issued the following press release this week on flu and flu safety tips:
– Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into the elbow, not the hands.
– Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
– Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Stay home if sick.
Health officials recommend that people with the flu stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone to avoid spreading the virus. Rest, liquids and over-the-counter medicines are common treatments. Antibiotics don’t work because it’s a viral illness.
Dr. Mehmet Oz administers a flu shot to CNN’s Piers Morgan:
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