Protect Yourself from Influenza at the Height of the Flu Season
According to trends and recent related news articles it seems that influenza has hit the Golden State as health care centers and doctors are seeing the numbers of patients testing positive for the flu. This should not come as a surprise however as this is the time of year when flu season is at its peak. According to one report, in California the flu has claimed the lives of 42 patients. The season runs through May.
Who’s at Risk?
Everyone! Even patients that may have received a flu shot vaccine to protect them throughout the season. If you have received the flu vaccine that does not mean that you have complete immunity to the flu virus. Depending on when you received the vaccine, its immunity properties may not have taken effect yet. Also, it cannot protect everyone as the flu virus changes over time.
Technically, the flu virus is a cluster of viruses/types – Influenza A, Influenza B, and there’s a third type that most do not mention as it is believed that it is not the cause of flu epidemics, Influenza C.
Everyone is at risk during the height of flu season. The elderly population is some of the most at risk because they may have other conditions, and frequent doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other locations where the general public that has been exposed to influenza may be. Children also have more of an increased risk of catching influenza as very young children oftentimes do not wash their hands as much throughout the day, and tend to touch their faces – eyes, mouths in particular – more often than others.
We are right at the height of the flu season and with that we are seeing larger numbers of patients experiencing flu-like symptoms, and larger numbers of patient’s testing positive for the flu. It is very important to protect yourself!
You can get vaccinated before each flu season ramps up. There is varying research and opinions on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, however for pregnant women, it is something that most doctors recommend. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to take effect.
Do not touch your face with your hands
It’s amazing how many times a day we may inadvertently touch our face with our hands, without even realizing we are doing so. During flu season, it is important to keep your hands away from your face as much as possible. Always wash your hands before you touch your eyes, mouth, or face.
Proper Hand Washing
Washing your hands with antibacterial soap, scrubbing them and using hot water for at least 20 seconds will help you to remove germs and keep you free of the flu and other viruses.