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Will the arctic freeze bearing down on the US aid to the elevated flu epidemic

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With a historic winter storm bearing down on much of the US many are concerned. This is especially so with the elevated flu risks already in place. Flu related deaths are on the rise.

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With the polar vortex bearing down on the region it has people confused about what to do considering the flu shot since it has plenty of related deaths of its own that have been hitting the news.

It is not enough that the elderly, young people and the homeless are in grave danger from these Arctic blasts, but do we all have to worry about an increase in flu as well?

The answer is possibly, but it will not be due to the weather.

While the Arctic freeze will in fact be a very dangerous storm with harsh conditions leading to hypothermia and death for some, the flu is not factually associated with cold weather.

The storm is going to last from Sunday through Thursday plunging parts of the Mid Atlantic and the Northeast into frigid single digit temperatures while cities like Minneapolis and Chicago will see temperatures of 30 to 40 below zero.You can keep up with breaking news through The Weather Channel.

A Weather Bell forecaster stated that “It's about as harsh a three-day period as you'll ever see in some areas of the country." She also added that "it has been at least two decades since the country has seen an air mass this cold. If you are out there, it's dangerous. Temperatures like these can freeze flesh in 10 minutes."

Schools across the US are closing in preparation for the frigid temperatures.

This is not just a winter storm, it is historic. A spokesman from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety released a request that "We are telling people to check on friends and family and neighbors — anyone who might need some help."

The south is also bracing for never before seen temperatures.

People’s concern about a rise in the flu epidemic is misplaced, it is the homeless population that will see the worst of it.
The executive director of New Visions Homeless Day Shelter in Camden, N.J, Kevin Moran, stated "People are fighting for survival, especially in these Code Blue nights."

When it comes to the flu itself it is debatable whether or not you can actually catch the flu from the vaccine. Though the flu is not cold weather related as many believe, it does not hurt for even healthy individuals to be vaccinated because of the possibility of being “snowed in” with others who may be infected.

In the US annually 36,000 die from the flu and countless others are hospitalized, so it is important to protect yourself regardless of extreme weather. However, you cannot catch the flu by going out in the cold, from drafty windows or from having wet hair.

Contrary to popular belief you actually have to be exposed to the flu virus to be infected. It is an unfortunate coincidence that flu season just so happens to coincide with the colder months. The fact is that the two are in no way related.

Get vaccinated, carry sanitizer and have a face mask on hand with your first aid gear and water/food supplies. Also make sure you have plenty of warm clothing and covering while traveling.



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