CDC issues flu warnings

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

CDC issues flu warningsOn the heels of the deadliest flu season on record in the U.S. in more than four decades, the Centers for Disease Control issued reminders this month for individuals to take every possible precaution for flu prevention.

“An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter,” said a spokesperson. The 2017-18 season also marked high severity across all age groups — the first time CDC has documented such a trend.

Most vulnerable populations include the very young and the very old, with those older than 65 and younger than 5 having the highest hospitalization rates for flu-associated symptoms.

High-risk groups also include those with chronic respiratory disease.

“At least 70 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations are infectious in origin,” said one expert. “The flu virus is among the top reasons for exacerbations.”

Adults and children with asthma are also more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu, according to CDC reports.

“As always, daily preventive measures should include hand-washing, covering your cough and staying home sick,” said Leslie O’Neill, infection preventionist at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. “And if you do have symptoms of the flu, get treated quickly — early antiviral medication can further ‘soften the blow.’”

For comprehensive information on treating and avoiding the flu, see www.cdc.gov/flu.

Story First Published: 2018-11-30