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This flu season is on record as being one of the worst in recent memory and worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. During the week of February 3, the flu resulted in deaths of another 10 children. The total of deaths during this flu season now sits at an alarming 63.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 13 visits to the doctor in the last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu.

But what happened? Well, the flu season started early this year and the entire country is experiencing intense flu activity. It is affecting schools, hospitals and workplaces all over. With this particular strain of the flu, it has caused the worst outbreak of influenza in quite some time. Those who are particularly affected by this stronger, more aggressive version of the flu are the young, the elderly and people who have certain chronic health conditions.

Here are the things you need check for in regards to the flu:

    Fever or feeling feverish/chills

    Cough

    Sore Throat

    Runny or Stuffy Nose

    Muscle or Body Aches

    Headaches

    Fatigue (Tiredness)

Parents need also be aware of potential vomiting and diarrhea with children. Most people who contract the flu get better anywhere from several days to two weeks but some people can develop serious complications caused by viral infection of the nasal passages, throat and lungs.

Should you still get a flu shot this year? YES. Should you also be sure to wash your hands often and keep hand sanitizer nearby? YES. If you believe you have the flu, over the counter medication such as Tamiflu can lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness. If you’re older and have the flu, seek immediate treatment with antiviral drugs. The main weapon to help fight the spread of the flu is to prevent the spread of germs.

If someone in your house has the flu, make sure their toothbrush is far away from yours. Once someone in the house has the flu, be sure to keep common items away to help prevent germs from spreading. After that person gets better, replace the contaminated tooth brush with a new one. Change your bed sheets frequently and also, wash your bath towels.

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