Flu Season 2014

Melanie Gray

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause mild  to severe illness. Serious outcomes can result  such as hospitalization or death. Some people such as the very old and the very young are more at risk for the flu and its complications.  In addition  those with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flue complications. 

People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications

  • Young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old
  • Adults 65 years or  older
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with chronic lung disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Cancer
  • Those who are morbidly obese

The flu strain that affects  us each year is unpredictable.  This year  it appears that those most hospitalized ranged in age from their 20s to 60s.  This mirrors a national trend  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No one wants to get sick. The best methods of  protecting yourself against the flu are simple tried and true methods that have stood the test of time.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing  or sneezing
  • GOOD HAND WASHING – wash your hands often  and if no soap or water is available, use a alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or  mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and at work, such as phones and key boards.

Be sure to do what you can to stay healthy by  eating healthy meals, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest!

Melanie Gray, MSN RN, is the program coordinator for MATC’s Practical Nursing program.