Flu season is here and more and more people across the country are getting sick. The American Red Cross urges people to get vaccinated now and offers tips everyone can follow to help prevent the spread of the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report for the week of December 29 to January 4 shows 35 states are seeing widespread flu activity, up from 25 a week earlier. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Most other regions are also reporting a number of residents sick with influenza.
STEPS TO PREVENT FLU The most important step someone can take is to get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Other steps people can take to help prevent the spread of the flu virus:
“If someone has the flu they should avoid contact with others as much as possible,” said Maria White, CEO of American Red Cross New Hampshire Region, “Everyone should also disinfect surfaces used commonly such as door knobs, switches, phones, computers and remote controls.”
DO I 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 (more common in children). If someone thinks they have the flu, their health-care provider should be consulted. Someone should seek medical care immediately if they develop any of the following symptoms:
More information about influenza and how to help stop the spread of the flu virus is available on www.redcross.org.
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/nh or visit us on Twitter at @NHRedCross.