Protecting Yourself Against the Flu

Research has shown that children under 5 years of age are at high risk of serious flu-related complications. More than 20,000 children under 5 years of age are hospitalized due to the flu each year in the U.S.

Complications from the flu can include pneumonia, dehydration, worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma, and sinus problems. In rare cases, flu complications can even lead to death.

Swine flu has taken the spotlight in the past couple years. It is so feared that the vaccine is sold out as soon as it arrives in the medical centers. Health officials claim that 5 to 20% of the U.S. get the flu and 200,000 of them are hospitalized; 36,000, they say, will die from it this year.

Since the hype has died down a bit, the medical community has admitted that the Swine flu is no worse than other flu. There are a few details to consider in regards to the statistics above. For example, a large portion of the 36,000 who will supposedly die from the flu are probably already weakened by other problems such as pneumonia.

Below are a few, easy precautions you can take to reduce your chance of infection.

  • Get Vaccinated
  • Wash your hands thoroughly using liquid soap and running water.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Try your best to keep them away from anyone who may be infected.
  • Use a dishwasher whenever possible for the hot water kills more germs.
  • Drinking water is a common way for bacteria and viruses to spread. City water has a minimum standard and is tested often, and well water should also be tested.
  • Add a filter to your tap during flu season.

The symptoms of HINI flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people with H1N1 flu have reported diarrhea and vomiting. If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, take precaution as if you know you have the flu and consult with your doctor.

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