Report from Louisiana: It’s Flu Season

Readability

Report from Louisiana: It's Flu Season

[cap­tion id=“attachment_104701” align=“aligncenter” width=“828”] CDC flu map as of Jan. 13, 2018[/caption]

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – Odds are good that either you or some­one you know has the flu right now. Accord­ing to the lat­est CDC report, about 9,000 “laboratory-​confirmed influenza asso­ci­ated hos­pi­tal­iza­tions” have been reported dur­ing this season’s flu out­break and at least thirty chil­dren have died as a result of the virus this season.

The flu is highly active in nearly every state right now, accord­ing to the CDC.

Not only that, but those with flu are at high risk for pneu­mo­nia which can be even more deadly. My brother is in the hos­pi­tal with pneu­mo­nia right now and has been in the ER for over 24-​hours because there are not enough beds in the hos­pi­tal itself to put him into a room.

Over the counter drugs like Ther­aflu are fly­ing off the shelves.

Is it coin­ci­dence that exactly one-​hundred years ago the nation, and the world, suf­fered the infa­mous 1918 flu pan­demic?:

The 19181919 influenza pan­demic killed more peo­ple than com­bat did in the First World War. Maybe a lot more: fatal­ity esti­mates range from 2040 mil­lion to twice that around the globe. In the United States, a quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion came down with the flu; some 675,000 died. Only the Amer­i­can Civil War has been more lethal.

This CBS News report on the 1918 pan­demic describes just how dev­as­tat­ing it was. We hope that this flu sea­son is not a repeat of that but we are not yet near the end of this sea­son yet.

The experts are giv­ing all the usual advice to pro­tect your­self: wash your hands, get a flu shot, stay away from loved ones who are ill, get lots of rest. Par­ents are advised not to send their chil­dren to school if they are sick and busi­ness are encour­ag­ing employ­ees to stay home if they are sick. Many doc­tors offices are telling patients not to come in if they have the flu: to sim­ply call and get a pre­scrip­tion for Tam­i­flu. Emer­gency rooms and urgent care clin­ics are over­flow­ing with flu patients as well.

Because I teach school, I am absolutely para­noid about catch­ing the flu; I’m around kids all day long. I’ve loaded up on hand san­i­tizer (even though there are claims that it does not work) and san­i­tiz­ing wipes which I use on my desks and door knobs daily. I’m keep­ing a healthy dis­tance between me and any­one who is coughing.

I have a friend who has worked in pub­lic health for over 60 years as a physi­cian. He firmly believes the key to pre­vent­ing germs spread­ing is Dr. Tichenor’s anti­sep­tic mouth­wash. He car­ries a small spray bot­tle with him dur­ing cold and flu sea­son filled with undi­luted Dr. Tichenor’s. He puts a dab in each nos­tril through­out the day and sprays his throat. Between that and the flu shot, he has man­aged to avoid the flu every year.

I have another friend who says that her secret to stay­ing well is to eat local honey.

I’m tak­ing every pos­si­ble pre­cau­tion, but it turns out that as wide­spread and vir­u­lent as this year’s virus seems to be, we all may be afflicted at some point.

I hope that you all stay healthy and avoid get­ting sick this year. If you have a great home rem­edy or advice, please share!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

CDC flu map as of Jan. 13, 2018

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  Odds are good that either you or someone you know has the flu right now.  According to the latest CDC report, about 9,000 “laboratory-confirmed influenza associated hospitalizations” have been reported during this season’s flu outbreak and at least thirty children have died as a result of the virus this season.

The flu is highly active in nearly every state right now, according to the CDC.

Not only that, but those with flu are at high risk for pneumonia which can be even more deadly.  My brother is in the hospital with pneumonia right now and has been in the ER for over 24-hours because there are not enough beds in the hospital itself to put him into a room.

Over the counter drugs like Theraflu are flying off the shelves.

Is it coincidence that exactly one-hundred years ago the nation, and the world, suffered the infamous 1918 flu pandemic?:

The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic killed more people than combat did in the First World War. Maybe a lot more: fatality estimates range from 20-40 million to twice that around the globe. In the United States, a quarter of the population came down with the flu; some 675,000 died. Only the American Civil War has been more lethal.

This CBS News report on the 1918 pandemic describes just how devastating it was. We hope that this flu season is not a repeat of that but we are not yet near the end of this season yet.

The experts are giving all the usual advice to protect yourself: wash your hands, get a flu shot, stay away from loved ones who are ill, get lots of rest.  Parents are advised not to send their children to school if they are sick and business are encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick. Many doctors offices are telling patients not to come in if they have the flu: to simply call and get a prescription for Tamiflu.  Emergency rooms and urgent care clinics are overflowing with flu patients as well.

Because I teach school, I am absolutely paranoid about catching the flu; I’m around kids all day long.  I’ve loaded up on hand sanitizer (even though there are claims that it does not work) and sanitizing wipes which I use on my desks and door knobs daily.  I’m keeping a healthy distance between me and anyone who is coughing.

I have a friend who has worked in public health for over 60 years as a physician.  He firmly believes the key to preventing germs spreading is Dr. Tichenor’s antiseptic mouthwash.  He carries a small spray bottle with him during cold and flu season filled with undiluted Dr. Tichenor’s.  He puts a dab in each nostril throughout the day and sprays his throat. Between that and the flu shot, he has managed to avoid the flu every year.

I have another friend who says that her secret to staying well is to eat local honey.

I’m taking every possible precaution, but it turns out that as widespread and virulent as this year’s virus seems to be, we all may be afflicted at some point.

I hope that you all stay healthy and avoid getting sick this year.  If you have a great home remedy or advice, please share!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.