The nation is having a very bad flu season. Flu is widespread in 46 states, including Texas, according to the latest reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died from the infectious disease, according to the CDC. The H3N2 influenza A subtype that appears to be most prevalent this year is particularly nasty, with more severe symptoms including fever and body aches. The hallmarks of flu are fever and body aches that accompany cough and congestion. Flu season in the U.S. typically starts in October and ends in May, peaking from December to February.
- Take flu vaccine. While this season’s flu vaccine is likely to be less effective than in previous years, even if it is not a good match to the virus now circulating, the vaccine helps to ease the severity and duration of symptoms if you come down with the flu. Young children are considered among the most vulnerable to complications from the disease, and a shot can significantly reduce a child’s chances of dying.
- Avoid people who are sick. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
- If you are sick, cover your cough and stay home from work if you can.
- Don’t mistake flu symptoms for those of a common cold. See your doctor.