FLU BUG HELP
Let’s stay well this season
After a slow start, the flu season has taken arrived. In December cases requiring hospitalization have at least tripled versus November across adult age groups.
In a mild year, the flu may kill around 12,000 people in a year. In a severe year, it may kill up to 56,000. We are somewhere in between this year. We won’t know for several months.
Here are some key facts to keep in mind:
THE BREATHING ZONE
The distance at which the flu virus may spread from one person to another is three to six feet. That means that if a friend, family member or co-worker has the flu and breathes out, you breathe in the flu virus.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
The flu virus takes 24-48 hours once you are infected to cause symptoms. That means you may spread the flu during that time without knowing you have been infected yourself. This is, of course, in favor of the virus being able to spread itself.
HOW LONG TO WORK
If you decide to get the flu vaccine, know that it takes 10 days to two weeks for it to take effect. That’s how long your body takes to build up the antibodies that protect you against the virus.
FACE MASKS MAY HELP
One study shows that when there's a sick family member in the house, family members could cut their risk of getting sick by 60% to 80% by using face masks correctly -- in combination with regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with the sick person, meaning you need to stay 6 feet or more away from the sick person. Remember, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a full 30 seconds.
YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR
It is always best to review the flu vaccine with your doctor.