This is what I found on MEDSCAPE.COM:

After falling slightly around the winter holidays, influenza activity has now risen for 2 consecutive weeks, according to a January 31 report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At a time when many are rightly concerned about the novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) — of which there are 11 confirmed cases in the United States as of Monday — the CDC is also warning citizens not to drop their guard about influenza, which has caused at least 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations, and 10,000 deaths so far this season.

Nationwide, during the week ending January 25 (week 4), 5.7% of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness activity were reported, up from 5.1% the week before and above the national baseline of 2.4%. Regionally, this percentage ranged from 4.1% to 7.7% and visits were above region-specific baselines in all regions.

One way to cut the odds of getting sick from the flu, a cold, e-coli, norovirus, rotavirus or even Coronavirus is very simple: Hand washing.

From Today:

“Hand washing is the second best way to prevent getting an infection,” Dr. Dan McGee, a pediatrician at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told TODAY. “The first best way is if you get a vaccine — if one is available.”

… A large new study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews reinforced that hand washing helps slow the spread of illness. In fact, it reduced the chances of contracting a respiratory illness by 54% — the best odds of any other option.

This isn’t surprising. Hand washing became known as a major way to slow the spread of infections way back in the 1850s when Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister documented what a huge difference it made. (Though they weren’t the first to notice: Ignaz Semmelweis realized that hand-washing saved lives 20 years earlier. Sadly, clean hands didn’t become popular until after his death.)

“Seasonal influenza kills up to 650,000 people every year. Get info from @WHO on how to prevent the flu & recognize the symptoms – and what to do when you have it,” the United Nations tweeted.

“Elevated flu activity is expected to continue for weeks. As long as flu is spreading in your area, a #fluvaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of flu. If you do get sick with flu, #antivirals can treat flu and prevent serious complications,” the CDC tweeted.

“Tuesday Tip! 💡 Feeling a tickle in your throat? Use these tips to cover your cough and prevent the spread of the flu!” tweeted Ohio State University’s Buckeye Careers. They included a helpful infographic.

Information provided by MEDSCAPE.COM.

Leave your comments below.