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What's This?

The flu season 2012 has earned a new status–the Department of Health and CDC are now labeling it as “widespread”, the highest rating of flu activity (meaning that it has been found in over half of any state), so Fox had me on last night to talk about it (watch the clip here:    Dr. Darria Long talks about widespread influenza in Mass..

Of course, I didn’t need the CDC to tell me that–Wednesday I worked in the ER and it was flooded with patients with flu-like symptoms.  Most of these people were  really sick–some were vomiting and couldn’t keep down fluids, some had developed respiratory infections.  I treated one lady for symptoms (her stomach pain and vomiting were so severe that we got a CT scan on her to make sure she didn’t have appendicitis), then as she was finishing, her husband checked in with the same symptoms.  This bug is contagious!

What does this mean for you? (I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, which you can also read HERE)

  • GET YOUR FLU SHOT! If not for yourself, then for your family, that doesn’t want you to make them sick.  (and if you wont do it for yourself or for them, then just do it for ME, because I dont want to get sick when you come to see me in the ER either!).  And no, it’s not too late–we expect the flu season to continue well into January and February, so the shot you get right now will at least protect you starting in January (it takes 2 weeks to kick in). Find more details about the flu shot HERE
  • Wash your hands.  I know.  How many times can I say this? But it’s true.  Especially around this time of year when we’re hugging people, shaking hands, and traveling, it’s especially important.
  • Don’t share food.  Around the holidays this can be especially tough, but shared food and food serving utensils can easily spread not only the flu but other stomach viruses that are going around right now.  So just keep this in mind this year–it may not be the year to try food off of everyone else’s plate
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