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Flu Cases 'Widespread,' Says Red Cross

Outbreaks are earlier than normal in the area.

The Red Cross said there's still time for folks to get flu shots and be covered from what is considered to be a more active flu season. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said flu outbreaks are high for this time of the season, with "widespread activity" in Massachusetts.

How do you prevent the flu?

According to the CDC, in addition to getting the vaccine, you can:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home if you’re sick. 
  • How do you know if you have the virus?

    Symptoms include: high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children).

    When should you call the doctor?

    According to the Red Cross, if you think you have the flu, your doctor should be consulted immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults).
  • Confusion or sudden dizziness.
  • Not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
  • Not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting (children).
  • Fever with a rash (children).
  • No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal (children).
  • Did you get the flu or the flu shot? Tell us in the comments.

    Upset January 10, 2013 at 03:32 AM
    Last year on the night of Jan.9,2012,my mom was brought from the hospital to a home for the old people.It was a VERY,VERY COLD NIGHT AT 7 PM. She was put into an ambulance ,she wear a thin pajamas with an open on the back with a thin blanket on top of her. When she got to the home,they want to get her at rehab,so that she can walk around the floor to get her healthy.During the walk around the floor with the nurse helpers,she starting to get tired and then she fainted.They check her temperature,she got a fever .An ambulance came back again,it was even COLDER later in the evening.They bring her outside the home,still wearing a thin pajamas with an open on the back and a thin blanket on top of her and leave her out for almost five minutes while the ambulance's staffs open the back of the truck and get ready to set up the medical equipments before her get into the truck.They bring her back to the hospital and left her out in the cold hallway at the ER for OVER FIVE HOURS! More patients keep coming thru. the automatic openning doors and the cold air come into the cold hallway at the ER ! That was the week of FLU season! NO ONE WEAR A PROTECTION MASK! Not even my mother.The only persons that wear a mask are the doctors in the operating room. Tell me something,do these medical staffs should know better about wearing a protection mask for themselves and the elderly people who are brought into the hospital and the elderly home? She got a pneumonia,less than a month,she died.

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