This year’s flu is worse than has been seen in years in the United States. This is the first year since the CDC has been keeping records for it (13 years) that every state is dealing with it. (http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/tns-cdc-flu-vaccine.html?Amp)
The fact that it is that widespread, in and of itself, is startling. But, the further and most concerning aspect is that it has caused the deaths of at least 30 people. In a country of over three hundred twenty three million people (World Bank) 30 may seem an infinitesimal amount, but, compared to the CDC estimates of deaths from the flu (Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States) it is an abnormal amount.
I caution to buy into the careless articles such as at Huffington Post (http://m.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/death-by-influenza_b_4661442.html), that essentially say that flu deaths numbers are a myth, and a way for big pharmaceutical to make money via vaccinations. A “scare tactic” per se. I urge those authors, such as Lawrence Solomon, to ask the families of those that have died, about the reality of the flu. I wonder where these article writers have their MD or PhD in biology from?
This article is not about the influenza vaccine however. Me and my family, personally, did receive the vaccine. However, even the CDC (Here’s Why the Flu Is Especially Bad This Year) says that the vaccine has only been about 30% effective this year, primarily due to the current H3 strain, typically more tolerant, and stronger. No this article is not trying to change your opinion about vaccination.
My point for this article is to issue a plea to anyone reading. Get checked if you are sick. One key to this, and other strains of, flu is early diagnosis. The sooner you know, the sooner it can begin being treated appropriately. It is a nasal swab and can tell quickly whether it is the flu. Early diagnosis may well save your life.
Kyler Baughman was a 21 year old fitness buff and bodybuilder. Within 48 hours of exhibiting symptoms, he died from complications, organ failure due to septic shock. A 20 year old mother died from pneumonia, attributed to the flu.
The point is if you feel sick, see someone. Even if it is the CVS clinic, or a walk-in office. Get a nasal swab. If you need to, go to the Emergency Room. Do not let this year be the year that you assume it’s a cold. It may well be in the end. But you cannot know without getting the flu swab. And you can’t treat it effectively without knowing that it is the flu.
It is far better to be wrong than dead.