It's Official: The Flu Has Hit Half of the U.S
As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention astutely noted, flu season is now in full swing and the H1N1 virus, more alarmingly known as the swine flu, accounts for many of those cases.
The flu is now widespread in about half of the United States, with the hardest-hit states being Nevada, Texas, and other southern states. California has seen regional flu outbreaks, and last week, a 41-year-old Santa Clara County woman died from the flu after testing positive for H1N1.
In addition, the swine flu has also been found in Contra Costa and Marin Counties, ABC News reports.
According to the CDC, in the week of December 22-28, the proportion of people seeing their doctors for influenza-like illnesses increased drastically, and "is above the national baseline for the fifth consecutive week."
Here's a handy map of showing which states are currently suffering the most:
So what should you do?
- Wash your hands frequently -- with soap!
- Get a flu shot (this year's vaccine offers protection from the H1N1 virus)
- Cover your mouth when you cough (then wash your hands again)
- Cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze, then throw that tissue in the garbage
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs (your desk, phone, door knobs, ketchup bottles)
- And lastly, stay at home if you are sick because nobody wants to be infected with your misery.