One of the most covered health topics in the United States each year is influenza. Even just a few short decades ago, influenza was one of the leading causes of health-related deaths in the United States, primarily among small children and the elderly. Today, the flu, as most people know it, does not kill nearly as many people as it used to, although in some cases it still can. Every single year, once the summer winds down and everyone is well into the fall, a huge portion of local news coverage is related to the particular flu viruses that are going around in different parts of the country. These news outlets cover how many cases of the flu have been reported, what strains are the most common, and what types of shots people should be getting to keep themselves safe. This year, after millions of people had had the flu shot, it was released that the flu shots that they were circulating did not prevent against the most common type of flu going around this year. In other words, the experts got it wrong, and even people who had had flu shots were still contracting the flu, albeit a different strain.
Although the fear of the flu is common among millions of people in the country, the number of people who actually contract it each year is much lower than most people think. The key to combating the flu is to understand basic flu awareness. There are a few simple things that every person can do to prevent themselves from catching the flu, and to prevent their children or other family members from getting it as well.
The first key to flu awareness is to do your research on which types of flu are going to be most common in your part of the country. By doing this, you will be able to determine which flu shot you and your family should get. Although the experts got it wrong this year, most health insurance companies will provide free flu shots, so it doesn’t hurt to get one. Often the experts are right, and having a simple flu shot is enough to keep you and your family healthy for the entire year.
The next key to basic flu awareness is to be cognizant of the people around you. If you see a person sneezing and not covering their nose, then don’t touch the things that they are touching. When you’re in a large group of people, don’t stand by the people who are constantly coughing. In other words, stay away from contact of other people’s bodily fluids. The next step is to ensure that your immune system is functioning at the highest level possible. Be sure to eat a good diet, drink plenty of water, and get lots of exercise. If you do contract the flu, being in good shape and being healthy will help you combat it. You should also check a flu surveillance map to see how prevalent the flu is in your area. The more prevalent it is, the higher level of precaution you should take.