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Taking Care of Your Family During Flu Season

Between fall 2017 and spring 2018, tens of millions of Americans came down with the flu. Community resources were maxed out as hospitals scrambled satellite clinics to alleviate wait times, and at least 14 schools completely closed due to a rampant flu virus amongst the students and staff. Nearly 200 people died. We’ve become very accustomed to the flu, but many strains are severe and life-threatening. Germs spread, especially when kids are involved, but there are reasonable steps you can take to keep your family healthy. 

Does your family need to get the flu shot? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the 2019 flu vaccine is 47% effective overall and 61% effective in children aged six months to 17 years old. While those may not seem like high numbers, doctors and researchers alike agree that the flu shot is in your best interest. Further, the CDC states that if your child gets the flu and they are vaccinated, that will cut their chances of hospitalization in half. 

Is the flu shot not for you and your children? There are other ways to keep on top of this pesky virus. Our hands touch everything, so a thorough and consistent hand washing routine is essential. Some studies show that the flu transmitted not just through coughing and sneezing but by just simply breathing. It’s impossible to be immune, but by staying on top of hand washing and sanitizing, you’ll be ahead of the game. 

If your children go to school or are involved in extracurricular activities, chances are they will be exposed to someone with the flu. Watch for signs that you or your child may have the flu: sudden fever, coughs, body aches, and severe exhaustion are all flu red flags. If you or your family member begin to experience difficulty breathing, it’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately as that is a dangerous sign that the virus could be progressing. 

Flu shot or not, it’s essential to keep yourself healthy during flu season. It’s impossible to control the actions of others, but you can establish a routine that will keep you and your family healthy. 

For more information on the flu virus and treatments available, visit the Center for Disease Control for comprehensive details.