The 2012 flu season is not yet in high gear. Infectious disease specialists are on alert for new strains of the flu virus as another swine flu virus emerged in the United States and a drug resistant flu is circulating in the Southern Hemipshere. Australia wrapped up its flu season months ago. Public health officials there have claimed that the version of so-called swine flu that is resistant to the drug Tamiflu is spreading more easily in the land Down Under.
There were 12 cases reported in the United States in December. Federal authorities are preparing another flu vaccine to combat these latest strains of the flu.
The flu season is about to get underway as February typically tends to be the month with the highest activity. The full season is typically October through mid-May.
What do you do to prepare for the flu season?
1. Get Vaccinated – Everyone over 6 months old can be vaccinated and it’s important for the very young, old and those with compromised immune systems to be vaccinated.
2. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
3. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth as that’s how germs can spread.
4. If you think you may have the flu stay home for 24 hours and be sure to get anti-viral drugs as soon as possible from your doctor.
5. Avoid close contact with those who are sick – if there is a flu outbreak in your area avoid crowded places.
6. Wash hands thoroughly by singing happy birthday two times – if soap and water are not available use alcohol based hand rubs.
And we advise if you are a healthcare worker, purchase fluid repelling medical uniforms that will prevent fluids such as bodily fluids from spreading from patients to you and from you to your patients and family members.