While the winter has been uncharacteristically mild, the influenza virus is entering with a bang and spreading throughout the region. Young children, pregnant women, individuals with chronic health conditions and people age 65 years and older are regarded as high risk for serious complications related to the flu.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting oneself against what research suggests will be the most common flu viruses of the season. Flu vaccination is often covered by health insurance and is available through a primary care physician, urgent care clinic, local health clinic, pharmacies and select employers.
There are many easy preventative measures that you can take today to prevent the spread of germs:
Vernon Manor takes preventive actions to avoid influenza outbreaks. "Our residents are in the high risk category. While no more likely to get the flu than typically developing individuals, those with neurologic conditions like intellectual disability and cerebral palsy are more prone to hospitalization and even death as a result of the illness. To protect everyone, employees are vaccinated yearly and are trained on effective hand washing to prevent the spread of germs. To further protect our residents, we recommend all visitors receive the flu vaccine before visiting and refrain from visiting when not feeling well," said Vernon Manor's Director of Nursing, Rebecca Dunnuck.
While the flu season extends from October until May, flu activity typically peaks between December and February. Flu-like symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. While a fever is a common symptom, some individuals experience the respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Symptoms often start one to four days after exposure and can last two to seven days. Infected individuals can spread the virus before showing symptoms, making preventative measures even more important. If left untreated, complications may include pneumonia, bacterial infections, hospitalization and death.