(RxWiki News) Across the United States, flu activity is high. And it's expected to continue for weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that flu activity remains high in the US. The agency estimated that there had so far been at least 26 million flu illnesses, resulting in 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths, this season.
Although the number of hospitalizations was comparable to this point in the season in previous years, the rates among children and young adults were higher.
According to the CDC, 92 children have died from the flu so far this season.
The flu is widespread in the majority of the US this season. And the majority of the US is seeing high levels of flu activity.
Only six places were seeing moderate or low activity:
- Moderate – Nevada and Oregon
- Low – Washington, DC, Alaska and Florida
- Minimal – Idaho
Here's how you can protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season:
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Try to limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If possible, avoid touching commonly touched surfaces, including shared writing instruments, public doorknobs and light switches.
- Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that may be contaminated.
- Limit contact with others to prevent infecting others. A good rule of thumb is to stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If a tissue is nowhere to be found while your nose tickles, sneeze into your upper sleeve. Coughing or sneezing into your hands can still spread germs, especially if you touch common surfaces or objects afterward. After, wash your hands with soap and water.
Getting a flu shot to protect yourself may still be an option. Ask your local pharmacist for more information.
Ask your pharmacist and doctor any questions you have about the flu. For more information on the flu, check out "Flu Season Is Here: Your Daily Dose of Tips."
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS