Even though it might seem too late, healthcare professionals are still recommending that people get vaccinations for the current flu season. The vaccination prepared for this season is only marginally effective, but it can help combat the flu and its symptoms, experts said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report elevated levels of flu activity throughout all of the continental United States. The flu strain of A(H3) was the one found in most lab tests. Deaths from this year’s flu are higher than usual. Hospitalizations are also up with more than 51 people per 100,000 in the population hospitalized with confirmed cases of the flu. Outpatient visits to healthcare providers are usually flu-related 2.2% of the time. In a recent week, 7.1% of outpatient visits were because of the flu.
In Maryland, the intensity of the flu has been reported as being high since the week of January 13, with the flu spread throughout the entire state.
The CDC recommends three strategies to combat the flu. First, people should get the flu vaccination. This is especially important for youngsters over the age of six months, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people age 65 and older.
Second, people need to take action everyday to minimize the spread of flu. Stay away from sick people. If someone is sick, they need to stay home until at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Wash hands. Do not touch your face. Clean and disinfect areas that could be contaminated with germs. Third, take antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them after the flu is confirmed. These medications shorted the time people are sick and minimizes the symptoms.