It’s time to face the facts: flu season is here. This years sore, feverish, sniffly, phlegmy – and in some tragic cases, deadly – flu season has been declared “moderately severe” by the CDC, hitting 49 states across the country in a big way. Due to the 2017-2018 vaccination being mostly ineffective against the most dominant and common strain “A”, H3N2, this flu season is worse than its been in over a decade. (Before you ask – yes, you should still get your flu shot.) Why is the Flu so bad this year? Due to the unpredictable yearly mutation of the flu bacteria, there is no way for the vaccines to be 100% effective against all viral strains. On top of that gamble, the H3N2 is difficult to grow in an egg, as flu vaccinations usually are.
If you, like most Americans, work in an office or any enclosed space with others, the flu feels nearly unavoidable. Luckily, there are preventative measures you can take, and knowledge you can arm yourself with if you or someone you know are affected.
Here’s a brief look at some preventative techniques:
Get your Flu Shot.
Okay, sure, it’s not entirely effective against H3N2, but the most recent research says that the strain has peaked and the worst of it may be over; with the dominant “A” strain slowing down, more easily managed “B” strains that are prevented by the flu vaccine are becoming more common. Not sure where to go? Use the CDC’s Flu Shot Finder to find a clinic or pharmacy near you.
Wash Your Hands… and sanitize everything.
When flu germs come in contact with a surface, they can live on them for up to 24 hours. Washing your hands generously, using hand sanitizer, and wiping down at risk areas can help cut down on germs, flu-related or not.
In addition to washing your hands, other general good health practices will help you too. (And so will these tips you wouldn’t necessarily expect.)
Do you think you have the flu? Stay home.
Take care of yourself and others by staying home and reducing the germs spread in your workplace. Stay home with a cold, too!
Caring for someone with the Flu? Use a Flu Prevention Kit or other fever-reducing Over The Counter medications.
Flu Prevention Kits are a decent line of defense (though no substitution to a vaccine) against the flu. Our kit is designed with Personal Protection in mind, and is primarily meant for use when you are caring for someone with the flu. Stocked with masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes, and more. Other Over The Counter fever reducers (a major symptom of the flu) and other Cough, Cold, and Flu relief products will help as well.
While the H3N2 virus may be peaking this month, there is still good reason to take preventative measures, including getting your flu vaccine.