The Dakota Planet

The Flu Outbreak in Michigan: What You Should Know

Alex Brittain

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If you haven’t recently been suffering from any of the common flu symptoms  such as: burning fever, headaches, coughs or sniffles , chances are, you will be in the next few days. This year the A(H3N2) flu virus strain has affected at least 46 states in the US and that number is expected to rise. Here in Michigan we are located in one of the higher hit areas of the US and with the flu not expected to leave anytime soon there are a few things you should know to help keep yourself and the people around you healthy and flu free this season.

A huge tip is to get vaccinated if not already. Officials and medical professionals have said this is the best way to  avoid the flu. The flu mutates every year and while the vaccines may not target every mutation of influenza it is still a good idea to get it to protect yourself in the long run.

Another big one is to wash your hands after using the bathroom or touching any surface that is not guaranteed to be clean. Power House gym of Macomb suggest their visitors wash their hands after using equipment and help control the spread of germs by regularly cleaning personal gym equipment.

Stay home when you’re not feeling well in order to give your body time to rest and recover and avoid close contact with people who may be sick.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and/or coughing to avoid spreading germs onto other people or surfaces.

Clean household objects and surfaces that are touched often. Even if a member of your household isn’t sick it is still good practice to help avoid the chances of that happening.

Go to the doctor. Make sure to visit the doctor for regular checkups, but during the widespread flu outbreak its important to get the proper medical treatment to help subside symptoms of influenza. However, hospitals can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses so take that into consideration when/if you decided to go. With that being said, some hospitals have put restrictions on who can visit patients in the hospital in a last effort to stop the spread of the flu to people who may have weakened immune systems. (This includes people over 65 and young children)  St. John Oakland hospital in Madison Heights has regulated their visitors to two per patient and all visitors must be over the age of 12.

With any flu outburst it will end eventually, how soon you might ask, well, that is still hard to say. According to the CDC, Michigan hasn’t yet reached its peak in the flu outbreak. This could mean weeks of cases with no relief. If you do contract the flu, make sure to stay home and contact your doctor. Also, make sure to buy plenty of tissues and cough drops because we’re in for the long haul.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Flu Outbreak in Michigan: What You Should Know