If you’ve never had the flu, consider yourself one of the rare fortunate people of Earth. More than likely you have had it, and probably have had hours (or days) of misery that made you think about death as a welcome alternative.
Flu as a Killer
There was a time not so long ago that the influenza virus was responsible for countless deaths. The great 1918 flu pandemic is believed to have killed somewhere from 20 million to 100 million people worldwide, but, with reliable media reporting being what it was, nobody is quite sure how many people died. Philadelphia, New York and Boston were the worst-hit cities in the U.S. There were no vaccines or medicines in those days to stop the flu or do much to relieve its symptoms; aspirin was even barely available.
Thankfully, medical science has come a long way since then, but the flu may also have become stronger, and new strains continue to develop. One way to stop the influenza virus is through a flu shot, which is recommended for most people. However, flu strains can vary from area to area, and you may become exposed to a strain of the flu that is not the same strain as the one your vaccination protects against, especially if you happen to be traveling.
Tamiflu Prevents, Treats, Relieves
If you think you’ve been exposed to the flu, begin to feel like flu symptoms may be coming on, or are already suffering with it, Tamiflu may help. An oral, FDA-approved prescription drug, Tamiflu is designed to:
- Help prevent severe flu symptoms from developing if you know you have been exposed to it;
- Stop the flu virus from spreading in the body if taken within two days of beginning to experience problems, thereby easing the symptoms somewhat.
Just because you’ve had the flu, perhaps numerous times in your life, doesn’t mean you know as much about it as maybe you should. A few flu facts:
- The flu is a contagious virus that is spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People may also catch the flu by touching their nose or mouth after making contact with something where the flu virus is living, i.e., the remote control your spouse just sneezed on.
- Many healthy adults can infect other people one day before they begin experiencing symptoms themselves, and up to five days after they come down with the flu. In other words, can pass the flu to someone else before you know you have it, as well as while you are sick with it.
- A characteristic case of the flu can last as long as a week. So there’s nothing unusual if it takes you several days to get over it.
- The flu can be a very serious illness, especially for populations aged 50 and over. People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are also at greater risk for complications from the flu.
- Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May, depending on the strain(s) and what part of the country you’re in. It’s suggested that you stay aware of flu developments through the media or medical community in your area.
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