This post is part of the blogger program by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time. Opinions are my own.
Once upon a time I was very ho hum about sickness, all kinds of sickness. I figured, “Everyone gets sick, right?” And then what I like to call “The Year of the Sickness” came. It was actually more like six months, but y’all it felt like FOREVER. Seriously, we were sick for six months straight. We would get over one thing and think we were going to be okay and two days later the next thing would hit. I tell you what, that year changed how I think about sickness and preventing it…especially the flu.
This year seems to be an extra bad year for the flu. Every day I hear of someone else I know that is either down with the flu or has a family member that is. There are so many cases of deaths caused by the flu, more than I remember hearing about before.
1. Get the flu shot! Did you know that it’s not to late to get the flu shot? Seasonal flu typically peaks between December and February and can last as late as May! As long as flu viruses are circulating, CDC recommends vaccination.
Despite this year’s vaccine being a poor match for the H3N2 (a particularly bad strain) virus, CDC continues to urge people to get vaccinated since vaccination may still offer some protection. In many flu seasons, there are other strains of the virus that circulate late in the season that this year’s vaccine is well matched against.
2. Take Preventative Actions. The first thing that comes to mind is: Wash, wash, wash your hands! I confess this is one of those actions that I was very lax about before The Year of the Sickness, not anymore! The CDC has a list of six preventative steps. See if you can guess them all and then go check here to see!
3. CDC has recommended the use of antiviral drugs as an adjunct to vaccination. They’re the only medicines that can specifically treat flu. CDC scientists have looked very carefully at the use of influenza drugs in the clinical setting, and the conclusion is clear, they work but they aren’t being used nearly enough. Quick antiviral treatment can mean the difference between a milder illness and a stay in the hospital or even death.