What you need to know about the flu this year
|Author: Ranjana. R|
Date: Thursday, January 10th, 2013
What you need to know about the flu this year
Published January 07, 2013
Currently, 29 states and New York City are reporting high levels of influenza-like-illness (ILI), and another nine states are reporting moderate levels of ILI. This season, 18 children have died from flu-associated deaths.
Influenza is a tiny frequently mutating package of genetic material (RNA) surrounded by an envelope.
Influenza A is a more severe type than B, and H3N2 refers to proteins on the envelope. (H)emagglutinin allows the virus to attach to your cell, and (N)euraminidase allows it to cleave and attach to another cell.
The severity of flu seasons vary, based on the type of flu. This year's predominant flu (76 percent) is very similar to a type that caused a severe season in 2003-2004, when the flu shot wasn't a good match and there were more than 40,000 associated deaths.
What is happening now?
So far, more than 15,000 cases have been reported, with more than 2,000 hospitalizations last week alone.
The number of unreported cases is likely at least three or four times that amount. There is widespread activity in 41 states, and18 children have died. Most of the severe cases are due to secondary complications (the flu weakens your immune response) including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis.
Can I still get a flu shot?
This year's flu shot is a good match, which means it will be effective more than 60 percent of the time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ensured a supply of 135 million doses, most of which have been distributed, and physicians such as myself still have a good supply. I am still encouraging people to get their shot, since it takes about 3 weeks to generate immunity, and the peak of the season is likely still at least three weeks away.
Who should get a flu shot?
The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot. This is in order to create a herd immunity, decreasing the amount of circulating flu virus, which protects those most at risk, the very young, the very old, pregnant women, and those with chronic illness.
How do I know if I have the flu?
Most clinicians make the diagnosis clinically, though we can use a nasal swab to test for the flu if we aren’t sure, and the test is approximately 60 percent accurate. (Rapid flu test gives immediate results, whereas a culture takes 48 hours) . Influenza-like illness (ILI; a clinical diagnosis) includes symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, nasal congestion and muscle aches.
What should I do if I have the flu?
In cases that are particularly risky (for example, chronic illnesses, asthma) it makes sense to consider a course of Tamiflu within 48-72 hours after the onset of symptoms to reduce severity. If you are sick, you should stay home from school and/or work. Wash your hands frequently, and avoid sneezing and coughing in public areas if possible. Influenza is a respiratory virus that can spread through the air as well as by touch (fomites), where it can live for up to a day.
When will flu season peak?
This year’s flu is happening early, which is characteristic of this strain. The rate of ILI is likely to remain high this year for a while. We haven't seen anything this bad since 2003-2004. The difference is that this year we have a vaccine available that matches the strain. Expect this year’s flu season to peak at the end of this month or next.
Dr. Marc Siegel is an associate professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center. He is a member of the Fox News Medical A Team and author of several books, including "False Alarm; the Truth About the Epidemic of Fear"; He is also the author of "Swine Flu and Bird Flu." His most recent book is The Inner Pulse: Unlocking the Secret Code of Sickness and Health.
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Distance Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Faculty Development
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Conferencing & Catering
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
6/24 to 6/26
Starting Wednesday, June 22nd
For the second year in a row, The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science earned second place in the Kentucky State Envirothon Competition, scoring the highest overall on both the Wildlife and Aquatics exams.
Eighty-six students from The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky are involved in some form of summer learning. From research internships to study abroad to robust community service projects, students are gearing up for busy
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,