The Flu Still Needs To Be Respected

Blog#138- 11/29/22

By Richard Davis

We have reached a point where vaccine fatigue and disregard for the seriousness of COVID and seasonal influenza have taken hold. They are diseases that will never go away and we still need to take measures to protect ourselves against the morbidity and mortality they can cause.

If you want to have the most accurate information about influenza then you should look to the CDC web site. They are the experts and they keep meticulous statistics as well as providing consumers with relevant and useful information.

Here is a useful list from their web site:

“Seasonal influenza activity is elevated across the country.

The majority of influenza viruses detected this season have been influenza A(H3N2) viruses, but the proportion of subtyped influenza A viruses that are A(H1N1) is increasing slightly.

Two more influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported this week, for a total of seven pediatric flu deaths reported so far this season.

CDC estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 4.4 million illnesses, 38,000 hospitalizations, and 2,100 deaths from flu.

The cumulative hospitalization rate in the FluSurv-NET system is higher than the rate observed in week 45 during every previous season since 2010-2011.

The majority of influenza viruses tested are in the same genetic subclade as and antigenically similar to the influenza viruses included in this season’s influenza vaccine.

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu.

CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually. Now is a good time to get vaccinated.

There are also prescription flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness; those need to be started as early as possible.”

Infectious disease experts are predicting that this year’s flu season may be one of the worst in recent years because of the number of cases they are seeing early in the season. The flu was held in check for the past two years because people were wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

But now that too many Americans think that the danger of spreading disease is past few are wearing masks and the uptake of flu vaccines so far this year is low. The flu is not just a minor inconvenience. It is a disease that kills people.

According to the CDC there are 14 states where the flu is considered to be at a high or very high level. In the northeast New York and Connecticut have high levels of diagnosed flu cases. So far, the rest of New England has a low number of cases.

The basic prevention measures that were recommended for COVID also apply to the flu. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid crowds. Cover your cough. Stay home if you have any flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, fever, generalized achiness or fatigue. The symptoms of flu and COVID are similar so it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. COVID tests are easy to obtain so it would be smart to take a test if you develop any questionable symptoms, especially if you have not had a flu vaccine or have not had all of the COVID vaccines.

Getting a flu vaccine will not only protect you but also those with whom you come in contact. No vaccine is 100% effective but vaccines do prevent serious illness. The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu because it is not a live vaccine. The symptoms people may get after being vaccinated are because of the reaction of their immune system, not because they were given the flu.

Getting vaccinated will save a lot of lives. It’s that simple.

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