5 Things You Need to Know About Flu Season 2017
- Oct 06, 2017
Flu Season 2017
This flu season has been extremely dangerous so far and it’s not over yet.
While the timing of flu is very unpredictable, the season normally ends by May the latest. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between the winter months of December and February.
The flu is a common viral infection that can be deadly, especially in high-risk groups. According to WebMD, the flu spreads easily, is partly preventable by a vaccine, and usually resolves within days to weeks.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) classifies flu season as an annual epidemic in the U.S. The CDC monitors this epidemic by recording outpatient visits of influenza-like illness, the results of laboratory testing, and reports of flu hospitalizations and deaths.
While many people underestimate the flu, it’s a dangerous and deadly seasonal killer. Let;s take a look at five important flu facts that will help you better understand the flu and protect yourself and your loved ones this season.
Flu Season Facts
1.Flu Season And The Weather
While cold weather doesn’t give you the flu, per say, it does create a favorable environment for the illness.
Flu viruses are more stable in cold air. The winter’s low humidity also helps the virus particles remain in the air, which helps it spread. In the winter, flu viruses can survive in the air for hours. In the summer, when humidity is higher, germs like the flu become heavy with moisture and fall to the ground.
According to Earth Networks Senior Meteorologist, James West, there are other conditions besides low humidity that can contribute to the spread of the flu. “Conditions that help spread the influenza virus are common this time of the year. These include people staying inside more often, holiday travel and stress and lower humidity.”
Our real time weather data and meteorology team helps us identify which points of the season are going to be worse as weather conditions progress. we’ll continue to update the blog with the latest flu information as the season goes on.
2. Flu Symptoms 2017-2018
The second most important thing you should know about flu season 2017 are the symptoms. If you can identify flu symptoms, you can get medical attention faster. Common flu symptoms include:
- Muscle pain
- A cough (dry or with phlegm)
- Loss of appetite
- Body ache
- Runny Nose
- Chest discomfort
- Head congestion
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you experience a mix of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your doctor and get checked out.
3. Get A Flu Shot
The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get the annual flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get one, either! The flu shot can reduce flu illness, doctor’s visits, and missed work or school due to the flu. It also prevents flu-related hospitalizations. This year, the recommendation is to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV). Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season. You can get a flu shot at your general practitioner’s or at most pharmacies.
According to the CDC, the flu causes between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the U.S. The flu vaccine is the best way to make sure you are not one of the millions that endure the flu virus. The CDC recommends that you should get your flu shot by the end of October. You should also make sure you and your loved ones wash your hands often and stay away from sick people.
4. There Are Different Flu Viruses
Did you know there are different flu viruses? Each year, it’s common for new flu viruses to appear. Flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s no unusual for these new viruses.
Without accounting for new viruses in flu season 2017, there are three or four viruses that most flu shots protect people from. For 2017-2018, a three-component vaccine must include:
- An A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- An A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
- A B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
5. How Many People Die From Flu Annually?
While a lot of people in the U.S. don’t worry about the flu, it is a deadly epidemic; especially in vulnerable groups. While it’s normally self-treatable, it can result in hospitalizations. According to the CDC, the flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations each year since 2010.
The flu is also a killer. While flu deaths in children must be reported to the CDC, flu deaths in adults are not nationally notifiable. However, the CDC still has systems for tracking these fatalities. From 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, influenza-associated deaths in the U.S. ranged from a low of 12,000 to a high of 56,000.The flu kills between 12,000-56,000 people per year @CDCgov Click To Tweet
These numbers show that flu season is not something to take lightly.