The influenza virus, commonly known as the flu, varies from year to year, both in terms of what type of flu is most common and how hard it hits various geographic locations. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, is reporting widespread activity in nearly all parts of the United States.
The weekly influenza surveillance report takes a snapshot of the flu and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity each week. The data is collected in ILINet, and the report is prepared by the CDC’s Influenza Division. Activity levels are determined by the percent of outpatient visits that occur within a state due to ILI. That data is then compared to the average percent of ILI visits that occur during the time of year when there is little to no circulation of the flu virus.
High Risk Regions
The ILI Activity Level Indicator reports that widespread influenza activity can be seen in nearly all of the United States, with the exceptions being Guam, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands (as of 1/29/18). This means that during the 2017-2018 flu season, it’s critical for people to take extra precautions against infection.
Take Action and Protect Your Health
Regardless of where you live in the U.S., there is the possibility of falling ill with the flu. While receiving an annual flu shot is your best defense against the influenza, widespread flu activity across the nation has put a strain on the vaccine’s availability. American Family Care recommends you protect yourself and your family with additional preventative measures such as:
- washing your hands frequently in warm, soapy water,
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and
- wiping down frequently-touched surfaces such as counters, cell phones and door knobs.
Additionally, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those suffering from certain conditions (such as asthma) should consider themselves at high risk for complications from the flu and are advised to seek medical attention from the experts at American Family Care if they begin to experience any flu like symptoms.
The flu causes body aches, nausea, vomiting, high fever and dizziness – never a fun time! If you suspect you are coming down with the flu, do not go into work or school. Attempting to work while having the flu will only spread the virus and take a toll on your health. Your body needs rest and plenty of fluids to bounce back.
Give your body all the tools it needs to stay healthy this winter. With convenient options like American Family Care, you can skip the hassle and long wait times of a standard doctor’s office and be seen promptly by qualified medical professionals.