How to Protect Yourself from the Flu Outbreak
The flu is back in full force. The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 25 states are seeing high numbers of cases of influenza.
Texas is seeing the worst outbreak so far. At least 21 deaths have been reported in the state.
"The number of positive flu tests we've had in the last couple of weeks are up eight times what they were in early December, so without a doubt we're seeing a lot of flu," Dr. Matt Bush, with Medical City Hospital in Dallas, said.
Ohio is also getting hit.
"The reports we're getting from the emergency rooms are really dramatic as positive influenza reports," Lucas County Ohio Health Commissioner David Grossman said.
H1N1 is reported to be the most common strain of the flu this year. That's the same strain that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009, and it's hitting young people hardest.
"Young adults, healthy adults, have been impacted tremendously with the illness," Zach Thompson, with the Dallas County Health and Human Services, said.
This year's strain is even affecting some people who got their annual flu shot. CBN News Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson said the vaccine is still your best defense against the virus.
"It is not too late to get the flu shot, but keep in mind it takes two weeks for the flu shot to take effect," Johnson warned.
"This is why sometimes we hear people say, I got the flu shot and then I got the flu," she explained. "Well, it's because they got the flu in that two week window between when they got the shot and when it started protecting them."
What are some things you can do to prevent getting infected by the flu? CBN News Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson talks about this and more below:
1. Wash hands thoroughly/ Lather for at least 20 seconds.
2. Use hand sanitizer, 60 percent alcohol.
3. Disinfect surfaces. Germs live two days.
4. Get rest. Sleep strengthens the immune system.
5. Take multi-vitamins. Powdered are the best.
6. Exercise and pray, which reduces stress
7. Avoid sugars or trans fats, which increase inflammation
8. Take fish oil, which reduces inflammation
9. Use coconut oil. It is a natural anti-viral/anti-bacterial