The flu has been running rampant across the US this year and it does not show signs of stopping. Children and the elderly are the most susceptible at this time.  Many flu related deaths have been reported and seem to keep climbing.  I wanted to share some information from CNN and also some tips to help you combat this ugly bug!

Per CNN https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/health/flu-weekly-numbers-march-2-cdc/index.html

Flu has been shown the door in the United States. Illness activity peaked and began to decline during the eighth week of the year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly surveillance report indicated Friday. Just 5% of people who visited their doctors did so while complaining of flu-like illness, down from 6.4% the previous week.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.
“We have definitely peaked,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said, quickly adding, “that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see more flu activity.”
  
And as long as flu continues to circulate in your community, the CDC recommends that you get a flu shot, she said.
 
So what can you do to combat this health scare? Here are some tried and true remedies that may help you. 
 
Use Steam.  Get that bowl of water and nuke it or boil water and put either Vick’s Vapor Rub or eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils (known to aid in clearing sinuses) and cover your head with a towel and let the steam do its work.  You can also steam up your bathroom and sit in there or take a shower and drop some essential oil in there and let the steam help you breath!
 
 Try a Neti Pot. This clears passages by flushing and thinning sinuses. 
 
Gargle with warm salt water.  This remedy is something I use and have my kids do at the onset of a sore throat.  A dry tickle could be the sign of a cold or flu so don’t delay. You would need to do this 4 times a day for greater effect.  If you don’t like the taste add a pinch of baking soda and gargle away!
 
Allow the illness to run its course and blow your nose often.  It sucks to not be able to breathe. Being a mouth breather also creates dry lips and more!  Use a gentle emollient (chapstick, shea butter or vitamin E oil) to moisturize dry lips.  Blow your nose often to try and keep passages clear.  A fever is your body’s way of fighting off the virus so let your body do what it is built to do naturally.  If you need to go to your doctor or an emergency room, don’t delay. 
 
Take care of yourself and keep warm!  Chills! Never did like them.  Turning up the heater may cause dry mouth and nasal passages.  Keep warm by covering yourself or putting on those fluffy socks, slippers and robe.  Your body has a natural defense and will use it. If you must turn up the heat, get a humidifier to put moisture back in the air so that no further problems are created during this time. 
 
Stay Home and drink plenty of fluids. You have heard it before, feed a fever starve a cold.  Well, the best way to do that is to stay home!  You don’t need the whole work force sick.  Drinking plenty of fluids helps your body stay hydrated and can help prevent headaches and dry throat.  Gatorade, Pedialyte and other electrolyte beverages are out there.  Try to avoid sugary or dairy products as well.  Sugar acts as a diuretic and dairy creates mucus.  Wash your hands and cover your mouth when out and about.  If need be cover your mouth and nose with a mask so you keep your germs to yourself.
 
OTC medicines are there and so is the flu vaccine.  You can buy the pharmacy or go to your physician and get the right medicine to help you combat this bug.  Not every medicine may be right for you and your doctor can help you with that. October to May is flu season with the peak being in February and March.