Although it still feels like summer, but in many areas illnesses are already creeping in with a number of flu cases being reported.
Flu season may not officially start until October, but doctors say “the flu starts circulating when kids go back to school.”
It can easily spread just by talking, coughing, sneezing etc. Kids are especially prone to flu and hence parents must be careful and aware of any symptoms.
The word from experts who monitor the flu’s earlier arrival in other parts of the world is not encouraging. Australia for example had triple the number of influenza cases soon after the start of their season last May. It’s important to prepare for this population-wide concern by learning from our past experiences. Flu is no longer an illness which can be taken lightly.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the flu vaccination can reduce the risk of contracting the flu by between 40% and 60%. “This year, flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses,” says Adrian Cotton, MD, chief of medical operations at Loma Linda University Health.
“There are multiple flu viruses that are constantly changing, which is why the vaccine is reviewed and updated annually to match changes in the flu viruses,” he added.
While influenza viruses circulate year-round, the peak of the season often falls between December and February. It is therefore recommended to get a flu shot at the beginning of the season.
Because the flu can cause serious illness, hospitalization and death annual vaccination for everyone older than six months is recommended by doctors.
Staying home while sick, limiting contact with others and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze are all ways to slow and prevent the spread of the flu. Maintaining hygiene is also very essential.