Seasonal Influenza


The flu comes every year.  It is estimated that between 5% and 20% of Americans get it each year.  Most people get over it with no problems.  The Center for Disease Control estimate that in the U.S. more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from the flu and its complications every year.

The flu virus was identified in the 1930s.  It probably existed for a long time before that.  Scientists classify influenza viruses into type A, B, and C – yes this was the best they could come up with.

Mom Was Right

Remember when Mom screamed at you from the kitchen to cover your mouth when you coughed or sneezed?  You didn’t listen! And you probably still don’t!  Well, the flu is spread by coughing or sneezing.  Those beautiful droplets of germs travels through the air, and go up your sister’s mouth and nose, without a rubble hose.  You wipe yourself with your already grubby hands as you continue on your merry way.  Of course, you are touching everything as you go, leaving behind contaminated surfaces where your germs can survive for 2 to 8 hours.  And all this because you’re too lazy to wash your hand.  Oh, by the way this took place at the dinner table as you let your dog lick your plate.  Remember, you can past on the flu to others one day before you know you are sick; and up to seven days after you start feeling crummy.

To do and not to do…

Here is the answer.

Practice Good Hygiene – Don’t be a slob.  Wash your hands, especially after you pick your nose.  Actually, keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.  Hey, this is another good reason to stop biting your nails.  Cover your mouth completely with toilet paper, a sleeve, or your socks when you cough or sneeze.

Stay Home – I don’t want to see you at school, work, church, Big Lots, or the tire center.  Keep your germs to yourself and I’ll keep mine.  This way we both have a chance to be germ free, care free, and still friends.  Oh, that reminds me, don’t get mad at me when I don’t visit you because you’re sick.

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