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Cold and Flu Season: A Complete Guide for Those Who Do Not Want to Be Sick


ForumDaily Woman

The 2017-2018 flu season was particularly tough, with about 80 deaths, including 180 children, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The other day, the first child death in the current season was recorded - a child in Florida died of influenza B.

Фото: Depositphotos

Сообщается, что dead baby was not vaccinated against flu, his blood test was positive for influenza B virus. This is the first flu-related pediatric death reported in the state this season (2018-19). The FDOH report does not indicate where the first victim of the disease lived.

In addition, the report said that two new outbreaks of influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI) were reported in Hillsborough County. Both reported flashes occurred in a school or camp, but FDOH does not report specific locations.

FDOH says new outbreaks are expected in schools, camps, or kindergartens in the coming weeks. The department recommends an annual vaccination against influenza, stating that this is the most important step in protection. The department also recommends taking preventive measures to prevent the spread of the flu.

Flu symptoms: forewarned is forearmed

If you feel symptoms such as:

  • chills or fever;
  • cough;
  • a sore throat;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • muscle pains, body aches;
  • headache;
  • unreasonable tiredness

consult with your doctor as soon as possible to rule out or confirm the flu, and in any case obtain treatment recommendations.

Flu shot: what you need to know

Experts say that this year the flu season will be softer, writes The Time... But here's what you need to know about the 2018-2019 flu and vaccinations - now is the time to get vaccinated.

When to get a flu shot

The CDC recommends vaccination against influenza at the end of October, before the main season of influenza 2018-2019 begins. If you skip this window, you can get vaccinated during the fall or winter, but then the risk that your body will not have time to develop antibodies before the start of the season is higher.

Where to get a flu shot free of charge

Some employers, as well as national retailers, offer free vaccinations. Free vaccination is also included in most insurance packages or subscriptions in pharmacy chains such as Walgreens, CVS, Publix, Costco, Walmart and Rite Aid.

In a “good” year, vaccination effectiveness can range from 50 to 70 percent. However, when a strain known as the H3N2 virus is actively distributed, the efficiency drops to 30 percent.

Фото: Depositphotos

What vaccinations can you get?

The CDC recommends getting the vaccine in the form of either a vaccine or a nasal spray. If you decide to give an injection, there are two options.

  • The first is a trivalent vaccine that protects against two strains of influenza A, H1N1 and H3N2 and one strain of influenza B.
  • The second option - a tetravalent vaccine against influenza, protects against the same strains as the trivalent, plus the additional influenza B virus.

“Your body needs two weeks to build up antibodies, so I use Halloween as a time marker when my patients need to do it,” says Dr. Murjani. “If you vaccinate before this time, you will be protected during the high season.”

Should I use a nasal spray?

AAR recommends that injection be preferred over spray because it provides more stable protection against the virus.

For the first time in two years, the CDC updated its recommendations to include a nasal spray, known as FluMist. Nasal spray uses live, attenuated viruses that are designed to teach the body to recognize and prevent strains of influenza if you have become infected. The injection works in a similar way, but uses dead virus strains.

“Although this is better than nothing, especially if your doctor runs out of vaccines, there are children who should not be given a nasal spray because it is a live virus,” says Dr. Murjani. “For children with asthma or immunodeficiency, we do not recommend sprays.”

Can I get sick from the vaccine?

Murjani says this is a “complete, 100 percent myth.”

“If I get a flu shot and the same day a sick child sneezes in my face, I’ll get sick because of the child, not because of the vaccine,” she said.

However, the doctor noticed that the virus can be picked up, even if you were vaccinated.

“Vaccination does not mean that you will not catch the flu this year - it reduces your chances, but if you catch the flu, it will help your body fight better. And instead of being sick for 5-6 days, you will recover for 2-3, and the temperature during a fever will be lower. "

Who is contraindicated for vaccination?

The only group of people who should not be vaccinated against the flu are children under six months of age. According to the doctor, they are too small, so they rely on the "cocoon effect" - the maternal immune defense. Therefore, when parents vaccinate themselves, they also protect their children.

Contrary to popular belief, according to Murgjani, a headache or a slight cold is not a contraindication to vaccination. Only if you are seriously ill, it is better to postpone the vaccine.

Is vaccine safe for pregnant women?

The CDC says that pregnant women can be vaccinated at any time. According to Murjani, there are several reasons why the expectant mother should take root. "Pregnant women with the flu can get much more complications," she explained, adding that this increases the likelihood of hospitalization. According to the doctor, immunity is transmitted to the child as a result of vaccination and can protect him or her during the first half of the year, while the baby itself cannot be vaccinated.

Vaccine vaccine strife

Studies by the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that influenza vaccine is effective in 70 – 90% of cases. The reason for the low efficiency can be the fact that many residents of the United States "stretched" with vaccination and inoculated too late, when the epidemic began.

Every year, flu vaccines are developed anew, improved. It is necessary to do this because flu viruses also mutate annually, changing and adapting to new conditions.

The difficulty is that the vaccine must be ready long before the new flu season begins. We can assume with a certain probability which virus strain will dominate in the new season, but experts certainly cannot know this. Virologists only make predictions, and the effectiveness of a future vaccine directly depends on their accuracy.

In addition, the vaccine is not equally effective for all groups of the population. It has the greatest effect on young and healthy adults. The smallest - for children and the elderly. As a rule, the elderly are twice as likely to get the flu, even if they have been vaccinated. The presence of chronic diseases and weak immunity also reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Despite this, the doctors emphasize that it is these groups - the elderly, children, people with chronic diseases - who are in dire need of a vaccine, and if there is a chance to stop the disease, they need to use it.

One way or another, observations by doctors have shown that vaccinated patients who become ill with the flu are much less likely to suffer from complications. Complications - pneumonia, meningitis and other serious illnesses - are sometimes more dangerous than the flu itself.


To the disease passed ...

Definitely better get a vaccination from the flu in advance. But just vaccinations for the prevention of influenza is not enough. People leading a healthy lifestyle: eating right and trying to reduce stress levels are less susceptible to the flu virus. This is true for all ages.

Sport, too, as it turned out, helps flu prevention a lot. Scientists from the University of Iowa found that the immune system of people who immediately after vaccination doing sports (for example, they went for a run or to the gym), reacts faster and better to the vaccine than people who did not engage in any physical activity. This is due to the fact that the training stimulated the blood with its white cells - leukocytes fighting viruses, began to move faster through the body and neutralize suppressed influenza viruses injected with the vaccine.

At the time of the flu epidemic restrict social campaignswhere there are a lot of people, for example, at concerts.

Air travel also able to provoke a disease: the air in the cabin of the aircraft circulates with the "common" microbes and viruses.

Фото: Depositphotos

If you are in the same room with a person who coughs and sneezes, try to keep away from the patient at least three meters. Do not be afraid to appear impolite. Adequate people will understand your desire to protect themselves from the disease.

Touching the door handles, handrails in transport, money, or shaking hands, try not to touch after that, their eyes, nose, mouth - organs, where there is an open mucous membrane. Wash your hands as soon as possible.

If you do get sick, the main thing is not to let the disease take its course. Having discovered a strong weakness, chills and fever, do not postpone a visit to the doctor, especially if you are an elderly person and are at risk.

Who risk more than others

The number one risk group for influenza is the elderly. 90% of deaths from influenza are among people 65 and older.

The second vulnerable category is children. In particular danger babies up to 12 months. Due to undeveloped immunity, they are vulnerable to all respiratory viruses.

Get sick with the flu - stay home!

In the period of epidemics, healthy middle-aged Americans, those who are moving the country's economy, are having a hard time. The real flu is not a cold that can be carried “on the run,” it knocks down and for several days shackles to the bed. People have to skip work. However, Americans, especially those employed in enterprises that do not provide sick leave, are trying to work to the last - as long as there is strength. As a result, sick employees infect healthy ones, and the company is losing many hands at the same time due to the flu.

According to the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, seasonal flu epidemics cost US 10,4 billion dollars to American employers annually, given only the cost of medical care and hospitalization of employees. These indicators do not take into account the damage from the decline in labor productivity and the forced absence of employees at work.

“While workers think that when they come to work, they help the company and show loyalty, in reality the opposite effect takes place: they only spread the disease among healthy colleagues and bring companies more harm than good,” said John Challenger, director of New York company engaged in employment assistance dismissed.

The flu epidemics hit the small business especially hard. Researchers from Pepperdine University, California, conducted a sociological survey, which showed that small companies suffer larger losses during an epidemic. This is explained by the fact that many of them barely keep afloat because of the recession. In such conditions, additional spending and a drop in revenue can be overwhelming for small businesses.

Do not send sick children to school

Officials of the city education department publicly urge parents to leave sick children at home, but at the same time they allow many schools to establish their own admission policy, and many institutions put attendance at almost the same level as academic performance, writes The New York Post.

Parents in New York so desperately want their children to go to prestigious middle and high schools that they are ready to send them to the sick, even with dangerous flu symptoms. After all, the number of passes in elementary school is taken into account by representatives of middle and high schools when deciding on the admission of a child to study.

For example, in the popular high school Wagner in the Upper East Side, high attendance rates of potential students have more weight than their grades in the social sciences in the process of accepting new students. High attendance gives 10 times more points than excellent performance in these subjects.

However, many parents and even lawyers who have joined them believe that a child of 9 or 10 years cannot be held responsible for their missing or being late for school, since in most cases it depends on the decision of the parents and the situation in the family. In addition, the public transportation system in New York sometimes works with delays due to traffic jams or other situations, which can also lead to a child being late for school through no fault of his own.

Фото: Depositphotos

Another problem is that at the domestic level, junior schools record different types of passes: for medical reasons, emergency situations and others, but when submitting documents to high school and high school, the admission commissions see only general numbers of passes without indicating the reasons, which deprive the potential student opportunities to prove the need and validity of a number of passes.

The city has already tried to enact legislation prohibiting the inclusion of attendance in the overall assessment of student performance, since children from poor families often miss school for family reasons, but the document has not been approved.

FDA warns of counterfeit drugs

In March of this year, the FDA issued a press release reminding consumers that there are no medications for the prevention or treatment of influenza that are sold without a prescription. AOL.

According to the agency, the seriousness of the situation with the spread of the flu causes new fears that consumers will buy unlicensed flu drugs or counterfeit antiviral drugs in illegal online pharmacies.

According to the FDA, it is worth pay special attention for non-prescription drugs if they are:

  • reduce the severity and duration of the flu;
  • naturally improve immunity without flu vaccine;
  • are a safe and effective alternative to influenza vaccine;
  • prevent influenza infection;
  • effective in treating flu;
  • provides faster recovery from flu or
  • supports your body's natural immune defenses to fight the flu.

The FDA also warns consumers to be cautious when buying drugs at online pharmacies that sell antiviral prescription drugs, such as Tamiflu, at reduced prices or without a prescription.

The agency urges you to buy prescription drugs at local pharmacies.

Traditional treatments that are dangerous for the flu

There are many misconceptions about health that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Experts decided to debunk some ingrained myths, writes Ivona.

Potato inhalations

One of the favorite folk treatments for cough and runny nose is to breathe over hot potatoes. It is believed that in this way you can warm up your throat and get rid of unpleasant symptoms. In fact, cough usually means that pathogenic microorganisms are activated on the mucous membranes. Warming up with potato pairs can lower the infection in the lower respiratory tract, and lead to the development of bronchitis. Too hot steam can cause burns of the nasal and oral mucosa.

Raspberry decoction at high temperature

At high body temperature, perspiration increases. It is for this reason that doctors recommend drinking as much liquid as possible during flu and ARVI. But not popular among the people a decoction of raspberries. This drink is sugary, and if the body temperature exceeds 38 C, it can cause dehydration. The body will be harder to recover, and the concentration of toxins in the blood will increase, which, in particular, will lead to headache or its strengthening.

Onion juice from the cold

Onion juice, which is recommended to bury the nose with a cold, really has a bactericidal property. But it contains burning substances that can lead to chemical burns of the mucous membrane, inflammation. Moreover, such treatment may result in the development of medical rhinitis. And if you add honey and milk to the solution, then in addition to creating a nutrient medium for bacteria, you can cause a strong allergic reaction.

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