Flu Widespread Over More Than Half the U.S.
Influenza is widespread across more than half the country and the Centers for Disease Control reports the number of deaths attributed to the flu has reached the epidemic threshold. The American Red Cross reminds everyone to get their flu vaccine now and has steps people can follow to help prevent the spread of the flu.
According to the CDC, the number of deaths from influenza is just below the epidemic threshold of 6.9 percent. Forty-three states are reporting widespread flu activity and the number of people seeing their doctor for flu-like illness is on the rise. Hardest hit are people 65 or older. These numbers are expected to continue in the weeks ahead, and could rise especially in states that have not yet seen a high number of cases. The CDC recommends those who have not had their flu vaccine should get it now.
FLU SAFETY STEPS In addition to getting vaccinated, the Red Cross has some simple steps people can take to help prevent the spread of the flu. They include:
SIGNS YOU HAVE THE FLU The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children). If you think you have the flu, call your health care provider. Seek immediate care if you have any of these symptoms:
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.