January 10

CDC: Flu season is upon us, and cases are up

The season likely hasn’t peaked, but experts say it’s too early to know if it will be worse than usual.

The Associated Press

ATLANTA – Flu season is ramping up, with illness widespread in at least 35 states. That’s up from 25 in the previous week.

Four steps for battling flu

1. Know the signs: They can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Sometimes there can be vomiting and diarrhea.

2. Always get your annual flu vaccine. It protects against three of the most common strains: H1N1 and Influenza A and B. It’s strongly suggested for young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with pregnancy, asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease.

3. Take all possible preventive actions: Wash hands frequently. Avoid contact with sick people. If you have flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Keep sick kids home from school. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – and throw the tissues away. Avoid spreading germs by not touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Drink plenty of fluids and get bed rest.

4. Faithfully take prescribed antiviral drugs: Within two days of getting sick is best, but taking them later is better than not taking them at all. They can make the flu milder and shorten the time you are sick. 

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control 

— San Jose Mercury News

A flu expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the agency’s weekly report released Friday shows “We’re in the thick of flu season.”

The CDC’s Lyn Finelli said the season likely hasn’t peaked, but that it’s too soon to know if it will be worse than normal.

The numbers aren’t as high so far as last year, when flu season started early. Flu usually peaks in January or February.

The number of people seeking medical care for the flu climbed to more than 4 percent of all doctor visits last week, a near doubling from two weeks earlier.

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