Everyone hates the flu. This nimble and aggressive virus knows how to worm its way through even the most healthiest neighborhood. So, it’s no surprise that the flu jumped from a local to a widespread issue in a matter of weeks.
98 people sought hospitalization so far this year, already making this flu season more aggressive than usual. 254 people reported coming down with the illness this season, but more will inevitably come.
This particular strain of flu happens to hit the young and elderly the hardest. It’s the H3N2 strain, which happens to be more severe than other strains. Yes, even the H1N1 “swine flu” strain.
Lovely, right? That’s why it’s such a widespread issue so early in the season.
The symptoms will hit you harder and last longer, creating more of a severe illness. Also, the average recovery will take you between 7 to 14 days. No one wants to lose that many work or school days.
Also, this particular strain creates the highest mortality rates due to how it affects the most vulnerable populations: the very young and old. Those over 50 run into a higher mortality risk, too. This strand causes a type of inflammation that raises their risk of heart attack/stroke by three to five times.
Dr. William Schaffner, who studies the flu as part of the CDC says:
“We think of the influenza virus as attacking the throat, the bronchial tubes and the lungs. But it affects the whole body. It can involve the blood vessels, particularly those going to the heart and the brain. If they are inflamed they can clog up and that can produce a heart attack or a stroke.”
So, if you have a child or elderly family member, you know what to do. The flu shot will bolster their chances against the virus.
Even if they contract the flu, it’ll at least lessen its symptoms. The CDC says those who opt for the flu shot will experience a milder form of the H3N2 virus should they contract it.
As of today, only 39 percent of Americans say they even got a flu shot. The CDC strongly recommends those over 6 months of age get inoculated because of how rapidly this season spread.
Between 2005 and now, medical experts believe the flu shot saved 40,000 lives.
Flu season is still only in the beginning, but already 12 states reported having a widespread issue. Including Connecticut.
CT Boom will continue to give you flu updates as they come out to keep you prepared.
But, seriously, if you don’t want a flu shot, stock your pantry with the essentials so you can somewhat take care of yourself. Broth, saltines, apple sauce, tea, tissues, and Gatorade might do you some good.
You definitely don’t want to battle the flu without any of these key ingredients.