With the flu vaccine for the 2014/2015 flu season acting as inadequate protection against the H3N2 strain of the flu, and the discovery of 15 pediatric deaths nationwide from the flu as of December 30, it is not surprising that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there is a flu epidemic in the United States.
So far, the CDC and other government agencies have reported widespread flu-like symptoms in 22 states and a high number of hospitalizations of mostly children under 4 years old and senior citizens. Healthcare agencies around the county have also reported that people over 65 years old are having an especially difficult time with the flu symptoms and their bodies are struggling more than usual to beat the infection.
Specialsit Jared Haftel reports that transmission of the flu happens several ways. After an infected person touches or coughs/sneezes on a surface, other people can contract the virus from touching the same surface. As the flu is also airborne through droplet dispersal when an infected person coughs or sneezes, people can contract it by breathing in infected air.
The CDC has warned the public that the best way to prevent flu transmission is by staying away from anyone who is infected. Additionally, people should practice proper hand hygiene — washing hands after touching any surfaces that others have touched before touching the face, nose or lips, using a tissue or eating.