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Preventive care urged during recent flu epidemic

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US is experiencing a higher-than-normal flu season with rates higher than normal in most regions of the country. (See this map for influenza rates around the country.) Hospitals and doctors’ offices have been overrun “forcing some patients to wait through the night to be seen in emergency departments,” Reuters reports.

Mayor Thomas Menino in Boston declared a public health emergency last Wednesday due to the higher rates of the flu. Boston is seeing 10 times more cases this year than last year’s flu season. Illinois, also experiencing high numbers of flu cases, has set up community health center mobile units to take care of less-severe cases to leave room in hospitals for more severe illness and flu cases.

There are preventive measures we can take to decrease the odds of the flu invading our houses. The CDC just reported that the current flu vaccine is highly effective for everyone 6 months of age and older, and it can prevent three different strains of the flu. “If you get the flu vaccine, you are 60% less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider,” reports Flu.Gov. You are much less likely to have life-threatening results of the flu after being vaccinated.

Keeping vaccinations up to date and washing your hands frequently with soap are just two of the preventive measures to keep the flu at bay. Reports also say to avoid contact with sick people. If this is unavoidable, talk with your doctor about anti-viral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

Technology can help walk through this epidemic well-informed in several ways:

  • Receive personal reminders to get vaccinations with mobile apps such as PrevCarePlus, by Decide Mobility.
  • Find local Community Health Centers using mobile searches through apps such as PrevCarePlus.
  • Stay tuned to the latest breaking news about this flu epidemic at the CDC web site and at Flu.Gov.

We want to work together to keep our country as healthy as it can be despite all of the rampant viruses going around right now. Let’s work together to prevent as many people from getting sick as possible.


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