Recently, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a higher number of diagnoses for flu-like diseases across the country. The number is specifically more in the Kalamazoo region of Michigan. Statistically, the CDC has reported over four million cases of flu in the 2019-20 flu season. Additionally, there have been thirty-nine thousand hospitalizations and two thousand and one hundred deaths as a result of the flu.
The infectious disease specialist at Borgess Hospital, Dr. David Davenport, states that the number of cases of flu in recent years has not raised. However, recently, people have been increasingly reporting flu-like symptoms. Davenport adds that though the rise is not high enough to be dangerous, it was unanticipated and happened very quickly.
Despite the seasonal campaigns for flu awareness and flu vaccinations, the majority of the people still do not get flu. In fact, many even use ‘catching a cold’ and flu interchangeably. Unlike getting a cold, people develop flu suddenly. A person who develops flu will experience different symptoms including headaches, sore throat, runny nose, fever and fever chills, difficulty in breathing, body and muscle ache, and fatigue. Children with flu may also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Usually, flu is treatable and a person can recover is less than a time period of two weeks but some people may get additional complications. For example, flu may progress into such as pneumonia and may be life-threatening if not treated at the right time. Some of the mild to moderate negative impacts of flu include getting ear infections or sinus.
On the other hand, serious illnesses associated with flu include a combination of infectious diseases caused by both bacteria and viruses. The infection can occur at the same time a person develops pneumonia.
Secondly, in some cases, serious complications such as inflammation in the brain or encephalitis, inflammation in the heart or myocarditis, or inflammation in muscles and tissues or rhabdomyolysis and myositis may occur. Prolonged flu may also lead to multiple organ failure. If the flu virus travels to the respiratory tract, it can trigger a potentially fatal condition known as sepsis.
Flu may also worsen symptoms of people with pre-existent chronic conditions. Asthma patients may be at a higher risk of asthma attacks while having flu. It may also worsen the condition of people with cardiovascular conditions.
Though some people are more vulnerable to developing flu and experiencing its serious complications, which include people with chronic health issues and older adults over the age of sixty-five, flu prevention and immediate medical attention are suggested to all people regardless of their health status.
The recent report by CDC shows not only the rise in cases but also that most of the people are less likely to follow medical advice after getting a flu shot. Experts suggest that flu vaccination alone is not enough without preventive measures and the recent rise in flu cases is most likely because of holiday mobility and lack of safety measures for flu.
Therefore, it is important to get vaccinated, follow fundamental preventive measures as well as for instructions from the doctor while having flu in order to avoid further complications.