Families, who share the same household, are especially vulnerable to the flu, Walerstein said, which is very contagious. To prevent such exposure, he said, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds after every sneeze, and each time you touch your mouth or eyes.
As of Jan. 10, the NUMC had not recorded any fatalities as a result of influenza-like illnesses, but, Walerstein said, “In the normal flu season there are fatalities, particularly in the very young and very old.”
Those who fear a unique strain of the virus can breathe a sigh of relief. According to Walerstein, the flu now going around is the one that was anticipated when this year’s vaccine was created. “It’s not a new strain,” he said. “It’s not something strange or bizarre.”
But he cautioned that it is still a very aggressive strain. “The routine flu is a serious illness, particularly for those who have underlying illnesses,” he said, “and we really have to take this seriously right now.”