2015 could be the year of a severe flu season, experts warn. In New Jersey, for instance, the flu has sent a lot of people to the hospital. Hospitals are full and doctors are advising people to take precautions to protect themselves against the virus.
A report released on December 6th by the CDC showed that the flu has made a lot of victims in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware the outbreak has spread widely. It seams that the flu is getting stronger and its activity in these areas has increased.
Dr. David Condoluci, quality and patient safety officer with Kennedy Health System, said that a lot of people with specific flu symptoms have arrived at the emergency a week ago and their emergency rooms are full.
According to a report of the Respiratory Virus Surveillance distributed by New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease, showed that flu activity in the state is high but south of New Jersey is low. The type of virus running around is the A-H3N2, which contains a strain that doesn’t respond to the seasonal flu vaccine.
Specialist are expecting the virus to be a stronger flu season than in the past years. Even so, doctors are advising people to still go get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, as there are other strains of flu out there. Elder people, pregnant women, people suffering from diabetes or lung conditions are the most threatened.
The flu vaccine is designed to protect the body from three or four different flu viruses that are expected to circulate around. As for new types of viruses appearing, it is not guaranteed that the vaccine will work. This means that even people who got vaccinated might fall sick but doctors say that the impact of the virus should be smaller on the ones that have the vaccine.
People who feel sick, having respiratory problems, running a fever or any other symptoms related to flu are advised not to visit their friends/relatives in the hospital. The number one precaution people can take is by washing their hands. Doctors say that the duration of the flu activity might last up to six more weeks, until the virus will start to cool down.
Other prevention measures could be the following: covering your face when sneezing, trowing away tissues after use, avoiding contact with sick people, don’t touch your face if your hands aren’t washed, take off from work, if you are sick as you can infect others and your condition could aggravate.
Image Source: The Independence Center