The norovirus variant, known as Sydney 2012, was identified in a scientific paper last week and Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) said genetic testing showed it was now causing more cases in England and Wales than other strains.
I know with all the hype over bird flu, swine flu, SARS and the memory of the spanish flu, a lot of people are asking if this could be overblown. Considering how many of the other "Pandemic" flus were over sold by the media in a search for relevance and ratings, I don't blame people for being ambivalent about this new sickness.
However, I have already seen several stories of people who got the current flu vaccine from their doctor or at their local health clinic or pharmacy and still got sick enough requiring hospitalization.
In New York, it has reached what the news is calling "epidemic" proportions.
"NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The flu is currently at epidemic levels across the five boroughs, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced Thursday.
Officials said a full 5 percent of emergency room visits are flu-related.
“It’s a bad year. We’ve got lots of flu, it’s mainly type AH3N2, which tends to be a little more severe. So we’re seeing plenty of cases of flu and plenty of people sick with flu,” Farley told reporters including WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.
So you might want to stock up on a few things, if you haven't already.
First, I'd recommend you get a flu shot.
Then get some disposable face masks. They are not that expensive and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Also get some acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) and aspirin to help with fevers and body aches if you do get sick. There are many people who cannot take one or more of the above palliatives, so they should contact their physician to find out what they would need to take and to get a prescription if necessary.
Stock up on soups and broths, you might want to get lots of bouillon cubes to make your own broth.
Also you might want to get medicines for calming your stomach and for diarrhea. Such as pink bismuth (Pepto Bismal), Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia) [Be careful with mom, it can give you diarrhea if you don't have it] Famotidine (Pepcid), Ranitidine (Zantac) and others to help fight the symptoms of the flu.
Take a pro-active approach to this, not a re-active one.
It's better to try to avoid getting sick, than it is to recover from it.
ETA: Read the following stories, and keep your own eyes on the news.
"(Reuters) - This year's U.S. flu season has created shortages of the Tamiflu treatment for children and of the most widely used flu vaccine, their manufacturers said.
"Hospitals in Boston worked to keep beds available as influenza patients crowded into emergency rooms in the outbreak spreading nationwide.
Massachusetts General Hospital has seen more than 500 patients with the disease and admitted 165 since the flu season began in September, said David Hooper, chief of the infection control unit. That’s an increase from 29 flu-related admissions last year, and more than twice as many admitted in the severe 2008-2009 season, he said.
“It’s an unusually high number,” Hooper said in a telephone interview. “We run a very busy emergency room at baseline, and now that’s being topped off by flu patients.”
And another one
FRIBERTY GIBERTY Video won't embed so here is the link