As the beginning of the year, January traditionally marks other “new beginnings” in one’s life, but for health officials, January marks the peak of flu season. In fact, the number of states reporting widespread flu has increased exponentially over the past few weeks:
During week 51, the CDC reports widespread flu in Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. High levels like those in the Southeastern states have not been seen at this point in the flu season for about four years.
And it’s a once-familiar strain — the H1N1 virus that plagued the country in 2008-09. “It’s our old swine flu friend and it’s causing over 95 percent of the cases,” said Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.
“There is a lot of flu going on right now,” he said. “Philadelphia has been reporting a substantial amount and it’s gaining steam and moving across the country.”
There is no cure for the flu, but there are a few ways to prevent the spread of the condition. One is to visit an urgent care in Tacoma to receive the flu vaccine. Starting this flu season, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed several new types of flu vaccine to be administered to patients:
People who have a fear of needles no longer have to worry about getting the flu shot. Vaccine makers have developed a flu vaccine that comes in the form of a nasal spray. One spritz into the nasal cavity is just as effective as the traditional vaccine administered via needle.
For years, people who have suffered from egg allergies were unable to get the flu vaccine due to the fact that the vaccine was created using eggs. Vaccine manufacturers have found a way to cultivate the influenza virus for the vaccine without using eggs, making a flu vaccine that is safe for those with egg allergies.
The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects people from four different strains of influenza, the virus responsible for the flu, as opposed to the traditional three strains. The quadrivalent flu vaccine is also available in the forms mentioned above.
With swine flu cases rising by the day around the country, do not put yourself at risk. The 2013-2014 flu vaccine protects against swine flu. Drop by a reputable Tacoma urgent care clinic such as U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group as soon as possible and get protection against the flu today.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Flu Outbreak Spreads Across US, Affects Young Adults; ABC News; December 30, 2013)