2013 Fall Flu Defense Needed

by Dr. Ronald Charles | 8/23/2013, 2:37 p.m.
Every year, seasonal flu viruses cause illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States. The Center for Disease Control ...

It is around the corner for all of us. It is the flu (influenza) season and it is not to be dealt with lightly! Last year, if you’ll remember, the flu season got off to an early start, was worse than average and hit the elderly particularly the hardest. Every year, seasonal flu viruses cause illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported 22,048 flu cases from September 30 through the end of 2012. For the same time period in the previous year, there were only 848 flu cases reported across the country. The CDC says the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to get a flu shot. The recommendations for the 2013-2014 season are very simple: Everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated unless there is a contraindication. And, flu vaccines are immunizations Buckeye Community Health Plan (www.bchpohio.com) provides to members at no charge.

Let’s take a look at the flu and what it is, so we all understand what we are dealing with this season. There are many types of flu viruses and sometimes a new virus emerges to make people sick. Many times, we find that patients are initially confused about whether they have something less serious. Here are the flusymptoms you need to know:

  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Chills
  • Possible vomiting and diarrhea

And, besides protecting yourself from the flu with a flu vaccine from your doctor you should remember to wash your hands often with soap and water and take everyday steps to present the spread of germs, like covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Also, remember not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth and avoid contact with others when they are sick, or when you are sick. Also, you can visit the CDC web site for the latest on the flu prevalence in 2013 and to learn more about the disease at: www.cdc.gov/flu/other_flu.htm

Finally, when taking efforts to improve your health care, remember to rely on your doctor’s support to kick off a healthy, happy school year for everyone in the family.

Buckeye Community Health Plan is a managed care plan that has been providing services in Ohio since 2004 and currently serves Medicaid and Medicare consumers throughout Ohio. The company has headquarters in Columbus and has regional offices in the Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron areas. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services. Information regarding Buckeye is available via the Internet at www.bchpohio.com. Buckeye can be followed on Twitter as @Buckeye_Health.