After recent news of flu cases spiking to alarming levels in California, Dallas County is also reporting significant numbers of sufferers in this year’s flu season. Three people, aged 37, 69 and 78, have perished because of influenza this week, and six more deaths have been confirmed so far this season.
All the fatalities were recorded between the ages of 50 and 98, highlighting the extreme vulnerability of the elderly to the insidious viral infection. Pregnant women, children, and people with weakened immune systems are also at risk. This year’s flu season seems to have hit earlier than usual throughout the US, no doubt in connection to cold weather wave hitting the country very hard as of late.
The Center for Disease Control is urging people over 6 months of age to get vaccinated against the flu. According to their research, 36 states have already reported significant increases in the numbers of patients diagnosed with the flu. It’s not an exaggeration at this point to say that flu is sweeping the nation.
Dallas County has 5.5% more confirmed cases than the national average, with about a fifth of tests conducted in local hospitals coming back positive for the influenza virus. Symptoms include coughing, nausea, light-headedness, fever, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
The influenza virus mutates very easily, and combating it requires the formulation of new vaccines every year, to teach the immune system how to fend off the viral infection. Inoculation is crucial for the protection of persons who cannot, for various reasons, get the flu shot, including infants. Antibiotics don’t work on the flu, and there are few anti-viral medications that do. Tamiflu is a popular medication, but some pharmacies in California have already reported running low on stocks. Without a doubt, the flu shot is the best way to prevent coming down with this common but potentially deadly illness.