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Flu widespread in both Virginia and North Carolina

Saturday, January 6, 2018
Kerr Lake Guide

person with the fluFlu is widespread in both Virginia and North Carolina according to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, it is widespread over most of the nation and has increased sharply. The CDC says this year’s flu seems to have also spread earlier in the season.

This time of year can be especially bad after many people traveled all over the country to visit family - sharing airplanes and new spaces - and as a result, sharing germs. And now with the holidays over, children are going back to school where the risk increases as they mingle with other kids and are touching things that others have handled.

What can you do? Medical professionals make three major suggestions. Hand washing. Keeping sick people home. And getting a flu shot.

There has been speculation that this year’s flu shots haven’t been very effective against this year’s major strain of the virus. But the CDC says it is effective and while it won’t prevent all cases of the flu, it will stop some and even make recovery quicker for those who get the flu.

Last year, the vaccine was 50 percent effective.

"If you could cut your risk of dying from a heart attack in half, you would do it," North Carolina Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said. "Even when you have vaccines that are order of 30 to 40 percent effective, that's millions of illnesses that you can prevent and tens of thousands of hospitalizations that you can prevent."

Doctors say if you or your child has a fever keep them home at least 24-48 hours after that fever stops. Going to work or school may seem right but you are spreading the problem.

If you are having difficulty breathing, or if you are starting to get dehydrated, because you’re not drinking well or eating well, then you may need to go to the emergency room.

Make sure you and your children are washing hands, using hand sanitizer and avoiding putting fingers near your nose.