There are three reasons this flu season could be especially rough. Although not an exactly scientific indicator, some physicians ascribe to the theory, “we are due one”.
Does it seem as if the current flu season has impacted more of your family and friends than usual? A peek on social media might easily cause one to deduce, “everyone was sick during the holidays.” Counting just my Texas relatives, about a dozen of us were impacted. Expanding the count to include friends adds another six or so. While that may not seem an especially large number, the odds of that many people I know, plus me, being sick at the same time should be lower.
There are three reasons this flu season could be especially rough. Although not an exactly scientific indicator, some physicians ascribe to the theory, “we are due one”. Since past two flu seasons have been light, doctors expect an illness rebound this year. Talk about the power of positive thinking…
Reason number two is particularly intriguing. Australia had an especially harsh flu season, the expectation is that the United States will too. Well, why? It’s rather simple; our seasons are flip-flopped. Australia is in the southern hemisphere, they experience winter before we do, so since they’ve already endured flu season, we have what amounts to a flu season crystal ball. #nice
Christmas is the normal kick off for flu season, but this year SURPRISE!! it showed up for Thanksgiving dinner. I guess it had heard about all the amazing Black Friday sales and wanted to experience the madness personally??
For those who feel so compelled, flu-shots are readily available. For those individuals who are not a fan of needles, don’t despair, there are other preventative measures like getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet and exercising. I’ll take those three options over a sharp, painful needle prick any day of the week.
What happens when today you’re feeling perfectly healthy and tomorrow you’re achy, sneezy, too tired to shower and have no appetite? Is it influenza, or just a common cold? The good news? Differentiating between the two doesn’t require a medical degree.
Provided below is quick list sure to help anyone become an influenza spotting pro.
1) Colds often begin with a sore throat bringing along its good friends runny nose and chest congestion. Luckily the trio is easily bored and generally won’t visit longer than a week. The flu is a bit more social, preferring to hang out in a crowd with fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness. Diarrhea and vomiting also accompany the fun bunch and all of them prefer a two-week stay.
2) Not one to heat things up much, Mr. Cold is pretty chill, but Old Man Flu likes it hot, over 100 degrees hot.
3) Colds may lead to sinus or middle ear infections, but influenza keeps far more serious company; sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
4) While mild body aches and discomfort are normal with a cold, flu aches are much more severe, impacting the entire body, bringing extreme headaches and even causing eyelid soreness.
5) Both cause fatigue; no one with a cold really feels like going to work or cleaning house but the flu can make showering, using the restroom and preparing a meal next to impossible.
What have we learned here? The flu is not nice and should be avoided, always. Here’s to your health!
Until Next Time,
Becky J. Miller