Is the Flu Season Going to Get Better or Worse?
The CDC numbers are alarming, and they could get worse.
According to the CDC, the current flu shot is approximately 47% effective.
This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective overall in preventing an infection.
At the start of the flu season, the most widespread strain of the virus was Influenza A H1N1, but in the last few weeks a more severe strain, Influenza A H3N2 began to circulate, and it’s now responsible for nearly half of the reported cases according to the CDC.
The Texas Health and Human Services also issues a weekly surveillance report which shows the influenza activity in the state is still very high, even though there was a slight decrease in positive test results for influenza this past week.
Sadly, the report also shows two children in Texas died from the flu in the last few weeks. The first being, the little girl from Garland, Texas Ashanti Grinage, who passed away of pneumonia from flu complications. She was only four years old. The second, eight-year-old Martin Campbell from Rockport, Texas also was taken too soon hours after having been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.
Please take the time to get to understand the dangers of the complications from the flu or flu-like symptoms. Most importantly, we recommend to know the signs of alert and follow your gut instinct.
CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over
According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018-2019 flu season is still widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico.
The report estimates that between October 1st, 2018, and February 16th, 2019 there have been
- 17.7 million to 20.4 million flu illnesses
- 214,000 to 256,000 flu hospitalizations
- 13,600 to 22,300 flu-related deaths
- 41 reported pediatric deaths, seven of those were reported in the week ending on February 16th
When it Comes to Your Kids Trust Your “Parental Sixth Sense”
When children get sick, they can’t always communicate how they feel or explain their symptoms well.
Therefore, you should always follow your instinct; nobody knows your child better than you, so if you notice something strange, or you feel your child’s symptoms are something more than just a cold or a mild case of the flu, it’s time to get a doctor involved.
Children are more vulnerable and more likely to develop severe complications of the flu some of which can be life-threatening.
Possible complications from the flu include:
- Ear infection
- Sinus infection
- Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Inflammation of the muscle tissue (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
- Multi-organ failure such as respiratory and kidney failure
If your child has an infection and it is not treated promptly or adequately, it could lead to sepsis, which is the body’s extreme life-threatening response to infection.
Altus Emergency Centers can be a lifesaver in situations where a child’s life is at stake, our guarantee no wait times means your child will be seen by a doctor the minute you walk through our doors.
How to Tell If You Have a Cold or the Flu
The common cold and the flu share some symptoms, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference, especially if you are feeling miserable.
If you suspect you may have the flu, you are welcome to come to Altus Emergency Centers to get tested.
We are open 24/7 and you will not have to wait in line to receive ER care.
||Influenza or Flu
|Fever||Rare in Adults||Usual|
|Tiredness or Weakness||Sometimes||Yes, and can last up to 3 weeks|
|Extreme Exhaustion||Rare||Usual During the First Days|
|Nasal Congestion||Very Common||Sometimes|
|Chest Discomfort – Cough||Mild to Moderate cough||Common, Can Become Severe|
|Nausea and Vomiting||Rare||Common in Children|
|Chills and Sweats||Rare||Common|
As a rule, you should know that Influenza tends to be much more severe than a cold, and for children, the elderly or anyone who has a weak immune system it is more likely to lead to other serious health problems like pneumonia.
What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?
The is no foolproof way to stop from getting the flu; however, some things that can help lower our risk of getting sick.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap often
- Use hand sanitizer
- Clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
- Keep your distance from people you know are sick
- Take an immune booster
- Drink bone-broth, studies show that it is incredibly beneficial for your immune system
- Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
- Consider getting vaccinated against the flu, this won’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but in some cases, it can help lower the severity of the symptoms.
When to Get Emergency Medical Help
Knowing when to come to the ER can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and elderly patients.
Come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if:
- Your child is vomiting or has uncontrollable diarrhea
- If you or your child have trouble breathing or if you notice the lips turning blue
- If the patient is unresponsive
- You have a fever that has lasted more than 3-days
- Persistent cough, especially one that comes with phlegm
- You develop chest pain
- You have severe throat pain, this could be a sign of strep throat
All Altus Emergency Centers are prepared to treat any severe symptom or complication of the flu. While feeling under the weather is just part of the process, if you notice any unusual symptoms or if your symptoms rapidly become worse, please come in for an evaluation it could end up saving your life or that of a loved one.