The CDC issued a health advisory yesterday. The vaccine for this flu season will NOT provide protection against the predominant “drifted” strain of H3N2 that is now circulating and has already caused five pediatric deaths.
Yes, you should still get the flu shot because some protection is better than none, but you also must be prepared for the worst:
Despite being vaccinated, you may still get the flu.
How do you know if you have the flu?
The flu is a nasty. Bad, horrible, agonizing…and potentially deadly.
- It comes on suddenly. It usually starts with a headache and fever.
- You’re exhausted but can’t sleep.
- You get hot and feverish and then you break out in a cold, uncontrollable sweaty spasm of shaking chills (rigors).
- Your head and lungs fill up and you cough, cough, cough.
- Raw, sore throat.
- Kids may get diarrhea, stomach pains, vomiting.
- Your bones hurt, and your body is so achy you can’t even blink without pain. You know you’ve got the flu because the only way to describe it is,
I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.
The flu is a respiratory illness – it is not a cold, it is not a stomach bug. Although It is caused by a virus, there is treatment for it:
If you think you have come down with the flu, call your primary care provider as soon as your symptoms start. If it’s the weekend, don’t wait for monday, if it’s the middle of the night, don’t wait for morning. There are two FDA approved anti-viral drugs recommended to treat the flu: Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza) .
These drugs work best when started within 48 hours of getting sick, but they can still be useful if given later in the course of the flu. The medications can make the flu milder and shorter. More importantly, if you are at high risk for complications, the treatment can divert a hospitalization and reduce the risk of dying.
Now that we know what to expect, we can prepare.
Something wicked this way comes and right now I feel like I just ate a cold snail raw.