The 2017-2018 flu season is at it’s peak and is proving to be a severe one. During the first week of 2018, people were being hospitalized for the flu at the rate of 22.7 per 100,000 people. During the same week last year, that number was only 12.2. Here at New Frontier Home Care, we are going to break down the “Why?”, “How?” and “What?” of this flu season to help everyone get through this flu season better!
Why Is This Flu Season So Severe?
It seems that a virulent strain of influenza called H3N2 is causing most of the cases of the flu right now. Based on past data, this strain is associated with more cases of the flu, more hospitalizations and more deaths than other strains. Unfortunately, the flu vaccine is only about 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain of influenza, hence why this season is more severe than others in the past caused by different strains.
Don’t let this knowledge deter you from getting the vaccine. While H3N2 may be the dominant strain this year, other strains will be going around as well. Also, those who are vaccinated and do get the flu typically experience milder symptoms and are less contagious.
How Should You Protect Yourself From the Flu?
First and foremost, it is not too late to protect yourself by getting a flu vaccination. However, remember that it can take up to two weeks after receiving the shot for the immunity to kick in.
Here are three other tips for avoiding germs:
- Dry air helps the flu virus live longer; consider using a humidifier to keep humidity at 30-50 percent.
- Avoid touching both your nose and eyes. This will reduce the chance of transferring any virus you might have on your hands.
- Wash your hands and wash them often! When using soap and water, rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
What Should You Do If You Get the Flu?
Get lots of rest and stay hydrated. If you experience a fever, headache and/or achiness, opt for Tylenol, Advil or Aleve.
If you are 65 or older, obese or have a compromised immune system or chronic health concern and develop a fever, cough and body aches, immediately ask your doctor to prescribe an antiviral medication.
Avoid cough suppressants and antibiotics; they don’t work for viral infections and can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Let’s work together and fight the flu this season!
If you or aging loved ones are in need of elder care services in the Greater Houston area, please call the staff at New Frontier Home Care. We are available to answer your senior care questions! You can also fill out our “Contact Us” form on our website.
Call: (832) 602-2282
Contact Form: www.nfhcare.com/get-started
Providing care in Houston, River Oaks, The Heights, Memorial, Katy, Kingwood, Spring, Pearland, The Woodlands, Sugar Land & League City.