The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory Dec. 27, 2017
about the spread and treatment of influenza. In Indiana alone, there were nine
flu-related deaths as of Dec. 23, 2017. Though the flu is a common ailment,
some people have a much higher risk of developing potentially deadly
complications, like pneumonia. Those with a higher risk of complications
include pregnant women, children (especially children aged five and younger),
people who are immunocompromised, and the elderly. High-risk individuals are
likely to be treated with antiviral drugs if they are admitted to the hospital.
However, the flu is a virus, and any antibiotic treatment will be ineffective,
possibly increase resistance to the medicine, and potentially expose a patient
to unwanted side effects.
One of the best ways
to fight the flu is to prevent it. The CDC wants to remind you to be sure to
wash your hands well, especially if you have been in contact with someone who
is coughing or sneezing. In addition, if you find yourself feeling ill, stay home
from work or school. If you need to sneeze or cough, practice cough etiquette
and sneeze or cough into your elbow or upper arm, rather than into your hands.
For more detailed information about the flu, read the CDC Health Advisory here.