The season of flu is still in motion in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States. Here’s the latest report, along with few tips to keep you from this wintertime sickness:
The latest update shows another big leap in the number of reported cases as of the second week of December this year. Presently, there are already 29 states reporting a widespread activity of the virus throughout its population, which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This is 11 more states than last week, and more than half of the country being widely affected.
12 more states, including the states of Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington, are reporting some regional activities of the virus.
Local flu activity also includes Columbia District and 5 more states, namely Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon.
Meanwhile, California, Hawaii and Vermont are reporting sporadic influenza activities, while Delaware, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands didn’t report any cases this week.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) still emphasize the importance of the flu vaccine, and that the flu shot is still out best defense to keep the deadly virus at bay. The CDC recommends everyone, over 6 months of age, to get the shot and be immunized. The flu shot in circulation today was derived from three strains of flu virus, one strain is new for this season’s vaccine.
Despite CDC’s constant reminder, many people are still hesitant to take the flu shot, thinking that it can, cause them to sickness. It’s important to note that, though the vaccine may cause some flu-like side effects to particular sets of people, such as mild fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny nose, it does not give the body the flu. Rather, it teaches the body to fight and beat the flu virus should the real one comes a close.
Flu shots however, aren’t for everyone, such as patients below 6 months of age and pregnant women. Those who can’t take the vaccine are advised to take extra measures in taking care of their health and minimize the risk for contracting the virus of lessen its symptoms, such as avoiding close contact to sick or flu-affected individuals, avoiding other people when sick, staying at home from school or work when experiencing flu or flu-like symptoms, washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when coughing and/or sneezing, and avoid touching noise or mouth and the eyes.