Feature Story Health

In the US? Take precaution for it is now flu season

Image © http://asianjournal.com

MURRIETA, California – The 2018 flu season is shaping up to be bad and potentially more severe than the one that affected America in 2014-2015, which, according to the United States Center for Disease Control in its latest flu outbreak update, was already “the most severe season in recent years.”

The US. is mostly being affected by the A(H3N2) strain of influenza this flu season, the same strain which highly impacted Australia in its recently ended flu season. The Southern Hemisphere outbreak is a prediction for what is going to occur the Northern Hemisphere.

So, where does the Philippines fall into this time schedule? In the Philippines, the flu season peaks from July to October.

What is the Flu?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. According to traditional medical personnel, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Common flu symptoms / Mga palatandaan at sintomas ng trangkaso

According to the US-CDC the indicators that one may have the flu are: fever and/or chills, cough, sore throat, a runny and/or stuffed nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. These symptoms may present in groups of two or three or all at once while some will also experience diarrhea and vomiting.

Madalas na madama ng mga taong may trangkaso ang ilan o lahat ng mga palatandaan at sintomas na ito:

  • Lagnat, masamang pakiramdam o panginginig
  • Ubo
  • Namamagang lalamunan
  • Baradong ilong o tumutulong sipon
  • Masakit na kalamnan
  • Sakit ng ulo
  • Panghihina at kapaguran
  • Ang at ilan ay maaaring makaranas naman nang pagsusuka at pagtatae, bagaman ito ay higit na karaniwan sa mga bata kaysa mga matatanda

The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus to when the symptoms manifest is about one to four days, with an average of about two days.

How the Flu Spreads

Influenza, commonly known as the “flu” or trangkaso in Filipino, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The virus is easily spread through droplets from coughs or sneezes. These mucus droplets can land in the mouth or nose of a nearby person.

One may also get infected by touching their mouth or nose, or rubbing ones’ eyes after touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it. The virus can be caught from hard surfaces such as doorknobs, computer keyboards and phones.

An a symptomatic infected person may be able to innocently pass on the flu to someone else.

What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Is it too late to get a flu shot?

Flu shots are often available for free through the employer’s health programs or at retail clinics such as Walgreens and CVS. For those without insurance, a shot will cost less than $20 out of pocket. It’s still a good idea to receive your flu shot even though the ideal time is in the fall; after all, the vaccine is meant to protect others who might not be able to cope with the sickness as well as you.

Remember, it can take 10-14 days for the shot to become effective.

It isn’t too late to get the flu shot!

Yes, there are concerns about the flu vaccine’s effectiveness, however, everyone is still recommended to get one. Wag nang intayin na trangkasuhin. Do not wait until you have the flu. Protect yourself and your family by having your flu shot this early.

In summary, make sure to wash hands carefully to limit the spread of the virus and try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick, please avoid contact with others. Stay home, don’t go to work, don’t go to the gym, don’t go to religious services. Don’t be “Typhoid Mary!”

If you get sick, call your provider, because they might prescribe an antiviral medications. If doctors caught the disease early enough, they can prescribe medicines that could make your infection less severe, and likely more complicated.

People who get infected should also keep up with the fluids and immediately seek medical attention if they start to feel worse or develop shortness of breath, worsening congestion or cough.

Ginger Honey Lemon Tea is perfect for fever, aches, pains, a cough, or a sore throat. Ginger may be used as an alternative treatment for symptoms of the flu. It is recommended that you always consult with your doctor before using herbs.

Stay healthy mga Kababayan at Kapatid!

Daniella Flanagan
Dani, as Daniella is known among her friends, is an actress, production assistant, producer, set designer, casting director, host, and reporter. She is a huge fan of beignet, crawfish, catfish, palabok, pancit, and the great States of Texas and California. Her background is in International Business and TV/Film production.

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