ATLANTA, September 21, 2010 – As corn-mazes, football, county fairs, and leave-covered yards fall back into our minds, so should flu-season. The 2009-2010 flu-season was a brutal one with the spawn of the H1N1 strain which caused 81 total deaths in Georgia and had 1,060 known cases, affecting between 5 and 20 percent of residents. September is the ‘official’ start of flu season, even though it lingers throughout the year. Signs can be seen in parking lots of drug stores for flu-vaccines, and now is the perfect time to get vaccinated. Since the flu-season is just now ramping up, the vaccine will have time to kick into effect before the peak of the season.
The American Red Cross is currently promoting National Preparedness month and this can apply for being prepared for the pandemic flu. Since the flu is contagious for one-to-five days after contracting it, staying prepared is the best way to relieve the chances of catching the flu. A few of the main ways to prepare for the upcoming season are:
- Get vaccinated, There are two types of flu vaccines that are out for the public.
- The shot: – the show is an inactive vaccine that has a dead virus in the show. This vaccine is given with a needle. Since the virus is dead; there is almost no way to catch the flu from this vaccine.
- The nasal-spray: made from a live, weakened flu that does not cause the flu. Since the weakened version can only live in colder environments, the live version will be dead by the time it reaches the warmer region of the body IE the lungs. There could be some nasal and head symptoms, but they should only stay for a couple of days.
- Eat a balanced diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise daily
- Manage stress
- Get enough sleep
With these few steps the chances of getting the flu are slimmed down, but this will not guarantee that the flu will be stopped completely. As seen last year, the flu cannot always be stopped and there are new stranded that develop every year. Being prepared is only one step in helping the flu-pandemic, but staying alert and informed is also a step into staying away from the pandemic.
To be prepared and stay prepared for the flu, a list of supplies should be kept on hand so when sickness hits. The supplies you should have with you are:
- Disposable gloves
- Acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol)
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Paper Towels
- Disinfecting wipes
- Oral rehydration, or water
Other tips about the Pandemic Flu can be found at the Flu Checklist.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.