The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released their weekly flu report, according to Fox News on Jan. 11. The CDC made public, based on the numbers of reported cases of people being treated with influenza-like-illnesses (ILI), have now reached epidemic levels.
According to the agency, heavy flu activity has infiltrated 47 states with 20 reported deaths to date. The numbers of reported deaths pertain to young children under the age of 18.
Reports of flu cases spiked in late December to early January – weeks earlier than usual – an indication that this will be the worst outbreak in 10 years.
The influxes of patients coming to emergency centers at hospitals for flu-like symptoms are N.Y., N.J, S.C., Minn. and Okla., along with 20 other states. The states with moderate ILI activity are Miss., Calif., Hawaii and Alaska.
According to Fox News reports, the Jersey City Medical Center – 5 miles from Newark, N.J. – has now barred anyone under 18-years-old or adults from their emergency department who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
Since the flu is a virus, antibiotics will not prevent or cure anyone from the illness. Tylenol will serve to reduce fevers and alleviate body aches.
Some tips to safeguard you this flu season:
- Wash hands often; rub hands with soap lather for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.
- Germs spread about 100 miles; avoid crowded places where people are coughing and sneezing; consider carrying and wearing a respirator/surgical mask – this serves as a dual purpose – to protect you from others as well as others from you with flu-like symptoms. They are available at pharmacy stores.
- Those who are highly sensitive or allergic to chicken eggs should consult with their physician before receiving a flu shot.
- With six to eight more weeks left of the flu season, there is still time to get that flu shot; it will take up to 2 weeks for the antibodies to be effective.
- If you already have the flu or experiencing influenza-like symptoms, hydrate yourself well by drinking plenty of liquids, rest and sleep often. Just let the flu run its course at that point.
The flu is very contagious one day before and up to five to seven days after becoming sick.
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Flu reaches epidemic proportions in US, Fox News website