Flu and Cold Season
I read the Flu update from the CDC: 2011-2012 Influenza Season Week 44 ending November 5, 2011. Influenza – so far it is normal, no sign of epidemic by November 5, 2011.
The majority of currently circulating influenza viruses are susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications oseltamivir and zanamivir; however, rare sporadic cases of oseltamivir resistant 2009 influenza A (H1N1) and A (H3N2) viruses have been detected worldwide. Antiviral treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir is recommended as early as possible for patients with confirmed or suspected influenza who have severe, complicated, or progressive illness; who require hospitalization; or who are at greater risk for influenza-related complications.
It is a good time to get flu vaccination. Within two weeks of getting a flu shot, you are protected from this year’s influenza if the wild viruses are included in the flu vaccine. Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. Those at high risk of serious complications from flu are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, including pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease or other chronic conditions. Vaccine protection declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed.
Flu can range from mild to serious and fatal. Symptoms include fever of 100 degrees to 103 degrees (possibly higher in children), muscle or body aches, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and extreme fatigue. Less often, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea can occur, especially in children.
Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat that goes away in a few days, says the WebMD website. Next are runny nose and congestion, along with a cough by the fourth and fifth days. Fever is uncommon in adults, but a slight fever is possible. Children often have fevers with colds. Dark nasal mucus is natural and doesn’t mean the patient has a bacterial infection. Hundreds of viruses can cause cold symptoms. Symptoms last about a week.
Flu and Common Cold Spread
Flu and common cold are spread person to person by droplets launched by talking, coughing, sneezing, laughing or singing. Touching an object contaminated by virus-infected droplets and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth also spreads flu. People are contagious from the day before their symptoms begin until one week later.
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