The advice that health officials are offering when loved ones are suffering from the flu? Stay home. Don’t go to work. Keep sick children out of school. Health officials are continuing to urge the public to get their vaccination.
I’ve slated Wednesdays on this blog to be “Wellness Wednesday,” where I intend to post various topics on general wellness. This, however, has been a topic that has been weighing on my heart for awhile. So, if you’d excuse me, I’d rescheduled today’s “Wellness Wednesday” post to next week in lieu of this one.
The California State Epidemiologist says that this expected to be a bad flu season. In fact, it could be the worst flu season since 2009. For comparison, the 2009 flu epidemic was H1N1 or “Swine Flu.” That epidemic killed approximately 12,500 people in America.
Public health officials are urging us to get vaccinated. And it’s not too late. It protects against three of the four strains that are circulating.
The flu season this year started a month earlier than usual and it has yet to reach its peak. This bug could circulate for an even longer period of time than usual as well.
Emergency Rooms Flooded
Emergency department visits in California are about 130% higher. That’s more than twice the average. People who are testing positive for influenza is about 50%. Normally they see about 17%.
What is Known?
H3N2 is a “non-human influezna virus” that is normally circulated in pigs. When it was detected, it turned out to be a powerful bug that includes genes from avian, swine and human flu viruses. It also includes genetics from the H1N1 virus. Infected pigs can spread it to humans the same way humans spread it to each other. Coughs and sneezes spread the virus through droplets that are inhaled.
H3N2 is a lethal threat among the elderly and children. It would be a severe determent if this various were to be introduced into a school or nursing home.
Have you been vaccinated yet? If no, then why not? If you need help finding resources or having trouble with the cost to be vaccinated, please contact me. I’ll see if I can find a low or no-cost option for your vaccination.