From the inimitable Patrick Mead:
The flu is now at epidemic levels and is wiping out parties, plans, and people. Why is this strain so virulent? A few things to keep in mind:
1. The flu shot is still valuable. It blocks some forms of the virus and if you get the nasty one going about now your case will probably be milder.
2. This flu is VERY dangerous but it does not start like most flus. It usually starts like a moderate allergy or a normal cold. You feel that way for a 1-3 days. Unfortunately, you are VERY contagious during this time and are likely spreading it everywhere you go.
3. Most flus start rapidly with sore throat, body aches, and fever. It can take days for this one to get that bad and by that time you’ve infected your family, co-workers, fellow church goers, and the people at the store.
4. Tamiflu is NOT running out. We have plenty. A store might run low for a few hours but it is out there. It helps but only if taken within 48hrs of the onset of symptoms. Sadly, most people think they had a cold those first couple of days and it is too late by the time they seek help.
5. Tamiflu is expensive — around $120-160 for a five day dose. It does not cure flu but shortens it by interfering with the virus’s ability to reproduce.
6. If you had the flu shot you will probably be better in 5 days but it will take another week to shake the fatigue. If you didn’t have the shot, you can increase those numbers 50-100%.
7. Children are at highest risk. They touch things and touch their face more often than most adults and have trouble clearing the virus.
8. If you have stomach issues and intestinal distress you have something else — not the flu. All influenza is respiratory. I know people call a touch of salmonella. etc. “flu” but it isn’t.
9. Hydrate, rest, and pray. Stay away from sick people if you can. And employers? PLEASE let your sick employees stay home with pay. It will cost you in the short run but save you in the long run. And it could save some lives — especially children’s lives and those with compromised immune systems.
10. How did the CDC miss this? They didn’t, really. They guessed the right flus and got the vaccinations rolling…and then this particular bug mutated too late to get it in the shot.
And, yes, I have a case. If I come across as a little ill, well, I’m a little ill. And NOT happy about it.
Taking Tamiflu. Drinking lots of liquid. Sleeping. Hoping Jesus returns quickly with greater than usual intensity.