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Flu Season: What the CDC Advises About Prevention and Treatment

The 2013-2014 flu season is upon us. As of December 21, 2013, the data collected by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta showed that flu activity continues to increase across the nation. High levels of flu activity are being reported in South Central and Southeastern states. Other parts of the country are now experiencing increasing flu activity and expect more cases in the coming weeks.

The CDC reports that the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 has re-emerged this flu season as the predominant strain circulating so far. The H1N1 virus is commonly referred to as the swine flu, but it is actually a variant of the swine flu that affects humans. The virus is known to target young adults, particularly those who may be vulnerable due to underlying conditions. The virus strikes hard, often leading to complications and even death. This year, the H1N1 virus is already responsible for 13 deaths in the Houston, Texas area alone.

So what is the best way to avoid getting the flu? Unequivocally, all healthcare providers and the CDC recommend the flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. This year, the vaccine is a particularly potent weapon against the flu because it protects against the H1N1 virus. People at high risk for flu complications (young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people 65 years or older) should be sure to get their yearly flu vaccine. Also, health care providers and childcare providers should make sure they are vaccinated since they are working with at risk populations. It is not too late to get the flu vaccine---so get vaccinated for the New Year!

Other steps recommended by the CDC to avoid becoming the next flu statistic include:

  1. Avoid close contact with sick people
  2. Stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
  3. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible
  4. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
  5. Wash your hands often
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Despite conscientious efforts, however, people will still get the flu. The standard treatment for the flu is antiviral drugs. If complications such as pneumonia arise, antibiotics may be given. Medications such as Tylenol and Motrin can be used both to reduce a fever and to help relieve body aches and chills that often accompany the flu. Staying home and away from others while you are sick will help you get rest and keep the flu from spreading.

At the Thomas Law Firm we hope that you follow the recommendations of the CDC set out above, and remain healthy this flu season. If you do become ill and have questions regarding the treatment you receive, contact your Atlanta personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.

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