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OK this is a graphic of ILI or ‘Influenza Like Illness’ that the Centers for Disease Control compiled for the week ending Dec 29, 2012! It compares this year with precious ones, and as you can see (take note of the red line), we are certainly off to a good start this season!
Now would be a good time to go out and get a flu shot if you haven’t already done so! The current vaccine that’s being administered looks like a good match for what's circulating around out there. And, I’m urging everyone (including me) to get a shot. This year, the flu seems to be gearing up to be a real meanie and has already killed!
Be situationally aware!
The flu virus is very, very tiny ball of nothing which can travel far on wind currents. And, while sunlight will quickly kill it, any fomites (hard surfaces) it might happen to land on can allow for it to survive for days and days. So be aware, whenever you go out, not to touch surfaces that might be teaming with other peoples germs. Some areas to be especially careful of are:
Shopping cart handles
Plastic coated menus in restaurants
Bank window counters
That cute little push top ketchup dispenser
Children's play areaa – kids are notorious at acquiring germs
If you see someone who appears sick (people with the flu generally look pretty bad), take pains to avoid them, even if they are relatives. Likewise, when you are out try and refrain from touching your mouth, nose or eyes! And, as always, wash your hands really often, like you are a practicing surgeon. Above all else - if you yourself are sick, then please stay home!
Do these things and you will dramatically cut down on the risk factors for this and most other viral infections!