You\’ve heard it your whole life: Every year, like clockwork, there are news reports about the impending flu season and how severe it will likely be. Although you want we could tell you that annual “flu scares” are mainly blown from proportion, the alarming truth is that\’s rarely the case. Flu months are indeed real, and also the effects the flu might have on your health and the health of those who are around you aren\’t pretty.
Schools are traditionally known to be “hotbeds” for illnesses like the flu, as children and young adults typically have not built a strong enough defense mechanisms to ward off many illnesses that hit us less regularly as adults. Also, people in schools tend to be grouped together in close quarters for extended periods of time, which substantially increases the chance of spreading contagious illnesses such as the flu.
This guide is meant to serve as a resource for college students and school staff, as well as those who find themselves dealing with others in close quarters during the day. While medical advancements for treating the flu have come a long way since the beginning of the Twentieth century, the negative impacts of the disease on your health can nonetheless be particularly severe. A little time to review this guide should help you find out more about ways to stop the flu dead in its tracks.
What Is the Flu?
The word “flu” is really a shortening from the medical term for that virus: “influenza,” or more specifically to the strain we\’ll discuss within this guide, “seasonal influenza.”
Even although the flu continues to be something everyone should be careful of contracting, keep in mind that the virus far less deadly than it was 100 years ago. In 1918, during the final stages of The first world war, a flu pandemic broke out that infected more than 500 million people worldwide. Of these people, between 50 million and 100 million people died, which amounted to roughly 4% from the world\’s population at that time.
These days, however, the mortality rate among flu sufferers has decreased dramatically since 1918, especially here in the United States. Unfortunately, it\’s difficult to pinpoint an exact estimate of methods many people may actually die from seasonal flu, particularly because there are several strains from the flu that exist worldwide, a few of which are less frequent than others. The CDC (Center for Disease Control), currently estimates the amount of flu-related deaths each year to be around 36,000. This might seem like a large number, but it only accounts for a very small percentage of the country\’s population (roughly .01%).
We can thank advances in medical research for this decline in flu-related mortality, along with the increasing effectiveness of flu vaccinations, which are available to almost everyone in the U.S. nowadays. Also, more young adults are being educated around the importance of maintaining good individual hygiene, which is among the best ways to avoid contracting and spreading influenza virus.
Seasonal flu typically crops up within the United States between October and could, with the quantity of flu cases usually peaking around February. Herpes is at its most effective during cold weather, which is why it\’s prevalent during late fall, winter and early spring. Moreover, because people tend to spend less time outdoors during these months, chances that the virus might be transmitted to others who share exactly the same indoor space increases a great deal.
As you can see, mixing influenza with cold weather is truly a occur, which is why this season is so also known as “flu season” through the public. Even though the probability of experiencing serious health conditions as a result of contracting the flu is low, it is important to remain vigilant about protecting yourself in the virus. For more helpful information concerning the flu, the CDC provides an excellent resource around the flu and things you can do to prevent it.
Flu Prevention and Management Tips for Students
As mentioned earlier, children and young adults are particularly vulnerable during flu season. It has to do with a variety of factors, including their natural defenses and hygiene (or lack thereof), as well as their close proximity with other students who may have contracted herpes. Below is a few information about how students can prevent contracting the flu, as well as how to proceed in the event of contamination.
Young Children (Kindergarten through Elementary)
Children in this age group usually run probably the most risk of developing influenza, particularly if they\’ve never been vaccinated against the virus. Very young students are typically less careful about following a rules of excellent hygiene, for example covering their mouths when they sneeze and washing their hands.
Despite several arguments against vaccinating young children (many of which are merely unfounded), making sure young ones receive all of their recommended shots is one of the most important steps a parent or guardian can take in helping their child stay healthy during flu season. Furthermore vaccinations help children ward off specific diseases, like the flu, they also strengthen their immune systems against other illnesses or viruses that may come their way.
Should a student contract influenza, it is important that parents or guardians bring their child to a doctor. Unlike adults, who oftentimes might be able to defend against the flu with no sort of medical evaluation or advice, children who contract the flu are especially at risk without the guidance of the medical professional. If a child starts to present flu-like symptoms both at home and at school, a doctor or school nurse should evaluate the child\’s health and make the appropriate recommendations prior to the symptoms intensify.
Young Adults (Middle School through College)
Unlike young children, teenagers and young adults are typically not as likely to experience flu-related complications. This really is largely due to vaccinations they\’ve already had as younger kids or thanks to a stronger immune system – the formation of excellent personal hygiene habits will make a world of difference. Despite the fact that their risk of complications are lower, adolescent girls and boys should take precautions in the event they start experiencing flu-like symptoms.
While a trip to a doctor couldn\’t hurt when it comes to a young adult that has contracted influenza, bed rest and a lot of fluids are often all they have to fight off the infection. Moreover, if a young adult has consider your experience with the flu, many of the symptoms might seem less frightening and more manageable compared to what they might seem to some child who has never contracted herpes. This could possess a positive impact on how a young adult psychologically adapts to the illness, which may work towards strengthening his or her immune system\’s reaction to the flu.
If flu symptoms develop inside a young adult, they ought to take precautions so we don\’t infect anyone else. These symptoms commonly include fevers, headaches, nausea, fatigue, coughing, and sore throat. There are several over-the-counter medications, for example acetaminophen (Tylenol), that young adults can take to ease several of these symptoms. If these symptoms continue to get worse, however, a healthcare professional should be notified immediately.
Advice In the Experts
Thanks to the Internet, it\’s easier now than in the past to receive sound medical health advice from experts without leaving the comfort of your own home. While a lot of what you read online should not take the place of advice from your doctor, particularly with regards to costly medical conditions, it can help you find out much more about health matters that concern the most.
In the case of seasonal flu, there is really no shortage of expert consultancy on the web. This information by Wolters Kluwer Health offers an expert rundown of the several symptoms and coverings associated with the influenza. The article also adopts some detail about other, less common, strains of the flu that you ought to be mindful of, such as H1N1 (swine flu) and avian (bird) flu.
In addition to the many resources and expert advice available online for self-diagnosing influenza, adults and children who\’ve contracted the flu should take additional care when out in public or among others. Most experts agree that staying home from soccer practice or work when suffering from the flu is the safest way to prevent exposing others to the illness. For more information on how you or someone you know can steer clear of the spread from the flu virus, this phenomenal article posted by the CDC is a superb place to continue your quest.
Flu Prevention Power Is within Your Hands
Remember: influenza virus is contagious, and can spread very easily indoors and through personal contact. Be sure to put forth extra effort to keep your hands washed and/or sanitized during flu season. If you come down using the virus, strongly consider staying home instead of going to class or work. Apart from maintaining good personal hygiene, simply staying home if you have the flu is the greatest way to avoid spreading it to others.
We may never completely eradicate the flu virus, but the good news is that we are a lot more prepared when the virus begins rearing its ugly head. Thanks to advances in medical technology and public health education, the flu has gone from as being a worldwide epidemic to a common but manageable illness. When you are aware of your personal health, along with the health of these around you during flu season, you are already doing all of your part to stop the flu dead in the tracks.