Last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that there are more than twice the number of flu cases this season compared to this time last year, all signs point to this being a particularly bad season for the virus. That season is just getting started, by the way.
Missouri is one of 12 states the CDC said were already reporting widespread cases of the flu and right on queue our area saw it’s first flu-related school closure of the season:
Augusta Elementary in the Washington School District will reopen Monday after a thorough cleaning over the weekend. The school had poor attendance this week “due to high incidents of flu and flu like symptoms” according to district administrator Craig Vonder Haar.
Around the state, there have been 3,558 reported flu cases this season, compared to 606 at this time last year. There have been 370 deaths in the state linked to pneumonia and influenza since October. Illinois reports less flu activity, with 167 confirmed cases.
Get yourself a flu shot
While the flu shot may not prevent you from ultimately getting the flu, other than constant hand-washing, it’s your best defense. People, especially healthy ones, underestimate the flu. You can get extremely sick — and even die — from it. It enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth and causes respiratory issues. It can then progress to the lungs, where it becomes really dangerous. What people fail to realize is that even if they are healthy and get off easy, meaning they don’t get a bad case of the flu, they have still passed on the virus, possibly to someone much more vulnerable, like a child or elderly parent.
Germs spread like crazy in the office
111 million workdays are lost to the flu every year. Germs on hands can be transferred up to seven times, making all of those frequently touched surfaces in the office hot spots for viruses. No wonder a virus can spread through an entire office in just a few hours. Some germs can even live for days on hard surfaces.