The week of December 23-29, 2012 was a highly active period for influenza in the state of Georgia. Twenty-nine states and New York City reported widespread outbreaks of flu. The current year's vaccination was given to combat influenza A (H3N2). However, there have been cases of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B, as well as cases of swine flu and other variants.
Getting vaccinated for the flu is not a guarantee that a person will not contract a different type of flu, one for which the person was not vaccinated. Precaution should always be taken when someone in a high-risk category comes down with the flu.
Why is it said that 'people come down with the flu?' It could be due to the fact that a particularly nasty flu virus can literally bring a person to his knees. Influenza viruses can cause complications with breathing, set up inside arthritic joints and bones, and attack other vulnerable organs in the body.
If you or anyone in the family catches the flu this year, you may want to refer to these natural remedies for the flu virus:
- Stay hydrated: Fever can leave a person feeling parched. Stay away from drinks with caffeine and from alcohol, which only dehydrate more.
- Keep trying to eat until you find something that will stay down. Without strength, the body can't put up a good defense.
- Alternate hot and cold compresses for the eyes and nose. This will break up the congestion and ease those severe headaches.
- Drink hot tea with honey. The warmth will ease a sore throat.
- Don't exert yourself. The body needs time to heal. Trying to work while you have the flu only prolongs the suffering.
- Don't touch household items, such as phones, remotes or other things common to the family, without washing your hands first. Be nice, use a disposable wet wipe after handling these items.
These viruses making the rounds in 2012 - now 2013 - are particularly hard-hitting. The average down time is between eight and ten days. Stock up on soft tissue, mucinex, cough drops, mentholated chest rub, apple juice, white grape juice and Popsicles.
Awareness is key to avoiding the flu. Steer clear of people with cold symptoms, which may be early signs of coming down with the flu. Wash your hands frequently. Forgo shaking hands at work or upon greeting friends. You may both be glad you did.