With the death of third-grader Zainab Momin on Tuesday night at a hospital in Montgomery, the influenza-fuelled death toll in the US has now risen to 30 — all of them children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This comes a week after Alabama declared an emergency, that led to the closure of several schools and hospitals overflowing with patients.
The onset of the flu season last year brought with it an outbreak, which if experts are to be believed, can turn even worse.
“Flu is everywhere in the US right now,” Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told The Washington Post. “This is the first year we have had the entire continental US be the same color on the graph, meaning there is widespread activity in all of the continental US at this point,” he explained.
The influenza virus has grappled the lives of millions of Americans, with the country witnessing the most widespread outbreak since public health authorities began keeping track of the problem, 12 years ago.
The worst flu outbreak. Although the government is keeping its hopes alive, assuming that the flu season peaked a few weeks ago, marking the zenith of what was already an early and severe outbreak. But seems like the hopes are about to be dashed to the ground with the current trend revealing that the number of patients has only risen, albeit more slowly, yielding the most flu cases ever for this time of the year.
“In general, we see things peaking right about now, but that means there is still a whole lot more flu to go,” Jernigan added. “In addition, there are other strains of influenza still to show up that could be a major cause of disease,” he explained.
To support the above-mentioned point, the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention witnessed infections caused by the H1N1 strain of the virus in states grappling with high levels of the H3N2 strain, the predominant strain of this season, known for its severity and ability to evade the protection supplemented by vaccines. In addition, yet another type of flu, caused by the influenza B viruses, is expected to turn up later in the season.
In such a scenario, what one can do is to simply protect yourself from the infection by maintaining standard hygiene standards, increase intake of foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin D that will increase your natural defenses to fight the strains, without any of the side effects and focus more on nutrition and wholesome foods than shots.