Tag Archives: flu

Flu Kills; CDC Announces That 80,000 Died From Flu Last Year

We know that influenza, commonly known to us as the flu, is a very deadly illness that kills a number of people every year. But last year was no ordinary year.

information about the flu; photo from uab.edu
information about the flu; photo from uab.edu

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that over 80,000 people died from the flu last year, the highest death toll in decades. It was also announced by the CDC that over 900,000 people were hospitalized because of the flu.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, revealed the numbers in an interview to the Associated Press (AP).

Most experts and people knew that last year’s flu season was going to be bad, but nobody had expected to see numbers this high. An average flu season can claim any from 12,000 to 56,000 deaths, which of course depends on how bad a flu season is. However, this past year exceeded those estimates.

CDC’s flu division director, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, told NBC News that while the numbers were very high, it was consistent with what happened last year.

The Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Jerome Adams, flat out said in a news conference that the reason the flu had killed 80,000 people was that “they got it from someone. Someone gave them the flu.”

Adams noted that most of the people who had died did not have a flu shot.

The CDC does not count exactly how many adults die from the flu, but they do count how many children die from it. It was found that 180 children died from the flu last year, another high number of deaths.

The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot and also tell your friends and family to get one as well. Just because you got your flu shot does not mean that you cannot get the flu.

If you do get sick from the flu, try to avoid people that are vulnerable to getting the flu. This includes children, elderly, and those who get sick easily. Lastly, do expect to go to the hospital if you get the flu. It can and will kill you if you do not prepare for it enough.

 

Surviving the Radford Plague

If you’re a student at Radford, chances are you’ve heard of the Radford Plague. It’s about as well-known to Radford students as bad parking options, the Dalton Dash, and the phrases light side and dark side. Unfortunately, it seems to be as big a part of Radford’s culture as the lack of A/C in Muse is, and we’re not sure which is worse. The Radford Plague, if you’ve been fortunate enough to have never heard of it or experienced it, is an epidemic of illness, whether that be the flu, flu-like symptoms, or a really bad cold, that spreads like wildfire. Perhaps it stems from our friendly nature here at Raddy and our love of hanging out and being with others that allows any kind of sickness to be so easily spread.

So if you’ve been like the majority of us and have gotten the Plague, here are a few tips that will help you make it through.

Drink fluids

Drinking fluids helps flush out your system and, of course, keeps you hydrated. If you have a fever, it helps you stay cool and replaces any fluids that you may lose. Water, soup, and tea are the best options. Juice with vitamin C is alright, but avoid sugary sodas and even drinks such as Gatorade which have a high sugar content. These will just make you more thirsty.

Get Plenty of Rest

When you’re sick, you need more sleep than usual so your body can fight off whatever’s making you sick, whether it be a virus or bacterial infection. Try not to stay up too late and avoid strenuous activities until you’ve felt better for at least a few days. If you push yourself too hard without having enough rest, you might have a relapse which will put you right back where you started. So rest up. I’m sure you don’t need too much convincing to skip a class and get some extra sleep.

sick
“When you’re sick, you need more sleep than usual so your body can fight off whatever’s making you sick, whether it be a virus or bacterial infection.” Photo from: www.images.medicaldaily.com

Take the right kind of medication

If you have a fever, make sure you’re taking something with acetaminophen (Tylenol), which will help bring the fever down. Acetaminophen also helps relieve aches, pains, and a sore throat. If you have bad cough, take something with dextromethorphan (Robitussin/Delsym). If you have a stuffy head and bad nasal congestion, make sure you take something with pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). If you have the full-blown Plague/flu (fever, aches and pains, fatigue, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat) Dayquil and Nyquil cover just about all those symptoms. Nyquil, of course, makes you tired and helps you sleep, so don’t do anything you wouldn’t be comfortable doing while sleeping, like driving or operating a forklift. Follow the dosage instructions on the box, and take the medication after you start to feel better to make sure you don’t relapse.

Note: If your symptoms are severe and don’t get better over time, go see a doctor.

WASH YOUR HANDS

This is by far the best way to stop spreading the Plague and to prevent getting it in the first place. Wash your hands all the time—before you eat, before you snack, before you touch your face, mouth, or eyes, after touching germy things like keyboards, door handles, and remote controls, and, of course, after you use the bathroom. Hand sanitizer works in a pinch, but soap and warm water are the most effective.

It’s Ebola in the USA

Since word got out about Thomas Eric Duncan (the man diagnosed with Ebola in TX), a lot of people seem in the US seem to have suddenly become concerned about their increasing likelihood of catching this deadly disease. The public reaction hasn’t been surprising; there have been posts asking why we haven’t closed the borders, outcries of why this man made it through airport security, and all kinds of questions about how to protect the American people.

Here’s the thing: a man came from Liberia with his wife to visit family in Dallas and didn’t develop worrisome symptoms until he was already on US soil. He must have contracted the illness right before the flight, as he had no fever or other symptoms that all the world’s airports are now trained to recognize. Of course, as soon as he became ill in TX, he went to a hospital, was soon diagnosed with Ebola, and has been quarantined ever since.

You probably don't have Ebola. Graphic from Know Your Meme
You probably don’t have Ebola. Graphic from Know Your Meme

He isn’t even the first person to be treated in the US for Ebola. At least a handful of Americans have been diagnosed while overseas and brought back to the US to undergo treatment. Yet, despite the fact that not even the man’s wife has shown any sign of having contracted the illness, parents have been pulling their children from school and the public seems terrified, based on some loud outcries.

Why all the crazy?

Yes, Ebola has proved to be a horrible plague on West African countries who were not equipped to deal with the severity of the situation until it was too late to stop it. They are only now getting real help from countries such as the US in slowing down this disaster, despite the rising death toll that has now reached approximately 3,500.

However, the fact of the matter is that unless you have come in direct contact with an infectious (that means that they are already showing symptoms) person’s body fluids, you aren’t at risk. In order to contract Ebola you’d have to have a patient’s blood, urine, vomit, etc. reach your mouth, eyes, open wound, or some other form of direct contact with your insides.

The CDC has been very thorough in their quick response and hunting down anyone who could have come in contact with the Dallas patient since he stepped on that plane from Liberia.

Seriously. Unless you’ve had that direct contact, you don’t have Ebola. That high fever, body aches, weakness, abdominal pain, and vomiting is probably just the flu. Although, if you start having unexplained bruising and bleeding which you can’t explain, maybe go to the ER just in case.

 

EDIT: Since this article was written, it has been confirmed that Thomas Eric Duncan has passed away.

Preventing the college cold

College is all fun and games until someone in the dorm gets sick, then it spreads like wildfire. Dorms are notorious for spreading disease quickly. Students live so close together that it’s nearly impossible to avoid the spread of germs. If you get sick easily, it’s important to do all you can to stay healthy. Here are some things to do if you or a roommate becomes sick. Continue reading Preventing the college cold