31-Oct-14 10:00 AM  CST

Facts from the CDC about the 2014-2015 Flu Season

It may be hard to imagine, but each year thousands of people die from complications associated with the influenza virus. Those over the age of 65 are the hardest hit, but the truth of the matter is that no one is immune.  

            Influenza or the flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is passed from person to person through droplets in the air. In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a person infected with the influenza virus can spread the virus through cough, sneeze or simply talking to those as far six feet away. Droplets can land in the mouth or nose and make their way into lungs. According to the CDC influenza can also be spread by touching objects were the virus may have landed, such as a table, or telephone, and then touching your mouth or nose.

            Knowing how the virus is spread is only one part of understanding how to prevent further spread of influenza. The CDC recommends regular hand washing with warm water and soap or an alcohol based hand rub as part of preventative measures. Additionally disinfection of common home and work surfaces will also help prevent the spread of influenza.

            Finally, an annual flu vaccine has proven to greatly reduce the spread of the influenza virus, as well as protect those who might be at a greater risk for contracting the virus. The influenza vaccine can be given two ways, intranasal, which is a live attenuated or “weakened” vaccine inhaled directly into the nose, and an inactivated (not alive) version of the vaccine that is injectable. Persons that may be allergic to eggs should be cautioned again use of the live or intranasal vaccine. Of course, anyone who has questions concerning the flu vaccine should consult their physician or pharmacist.

 

 

 

References:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “2014-2015 Flu Season”, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/index.htm, 10-9-14

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Seasonal Influenza: Flu Basics”, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm, 10-16-14

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Flu Season”, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2014-2015.htm 10-19-14


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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