The Regular Flu: Don’t You Forget About Me


Lost in all of the Covid-19 coverage is the fact that we are going through one of our worst flu seasons, especially for children and young adults.

Here is my latest post on the current crisis. If you would like more updates on Covid-19, follow our FaceBook page.



While our attention has been focused on the novel coronavirus, far more dangerous viruses for children and young adults have been spreading at an unprecedented rate: the regular flu strains.

This month the CDC reported that “hospitalization rates in children 0-4 years old and adults 18-49 years old are now the highest on record for these age groups, surpassing the rate reported during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.”

According to Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the flu strains circulating this season disproportionally attack children and young adults, and there are 3-5 times more people testing positive for the flu and other respiratory viruses than for the novel coronavirus.

According to the CDC, so far this season an estimated 38 million flu cases have been reported in the U.S., with 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths, including 149 children deaths.

Data from Health Canada shows that 28 flu outbreaks were reported in the week ending Feb. 1 alone. Since the end of August, 2019, 576 laboratory-confirmed outbreaks of influenza have been recorded. Most of these outbreaks are occurring in long-term care facilities.

Of course, the regular flu is an old enemy that we are familiar with, so it’s not getting much media coverage.

On the other hand, the positive news about Covid-19, according to data from multiple governments, is that children and healthy adults are generally not very affected, showing zero to mild symptoms. Unfortunately, this also means that more people can transmit the virus to vulnerable individuals without even realizing it. So we absolutely do need to protect and isolate people with pre-existing conditions, especially those living in a senior residence.

But we also need some perspective.

One of my readers commented: “It’s dirty out there right now.” Here was my response:

“It’s always dirty out there, always has been, always will be. Today, thankfully, we have tools, such as proper sanitation and knowledge on nutrition and exercise, to make sure that what is going on inside of us can handle it.”

 

Marc Jaoudé
Markito Fitness & Nutrition

 
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