Flu Season Update 2015
If you made it through the holiday season without catching the dreaded flu, you’re probably breathing a sigh or relief at this point. Don’t get too comfortable, though; this flu season won’t be over for a while.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season typically peaks between December and February. Nationwide reports of flu cases began to increase in early December of 2014 and continued at high levels into the early parts of 2015.
There is good news for Georgia: The Influenza Division of the CDC creates weekly reports with an interactive map that illustrates the most current flu data, and as of January 17 Georgia was reported as having “minimal” flu cases for the second week in January. This is an improvement over the previous week’s report which was described as “moderate,” and an even better improvement over the week ending on December 27, which was defined as “high.”
The longstanding advice still applies for protecting yourself against the flu:
- Get vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine. Find a vaccination locator near you.
- Wash your hands. Use soap and hot water, or use an alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer whenever possible.
- Take antiviral medication if you’re exposed to the flu. These treatments can be 70%-90% effective at preventing sickness if taken correctly. Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for an antiviral medication.
If someone in your home becomes ill with the flu, there are certain measures you can take to ensure your own health as well as the wellness of others in the house. The CDC suggests making a separate sick room in your house, a designated area for the person who is suffering from the flu. Some things you can keep in the room include:
- Trash can lined with a plastic bag
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cups and straws
These items will help the sick person feel more comfortable as they fight off the flu, and keeping your loved one in their designated area will reduce the risk of spreading infection to others in the home.
As always, drink plenty of clear liquids and get as much rest as possible if you feel as if you’re coming down with the flu. Visit flu.gov to learn more about treating minor flu symptoms at home.
Updated January 13, 2016
About the Author
A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.