Have you had your flu shot this year? Learn other ways to prevent the spread of this dreaded illness.
On average 36,000 people die from the flu every year in the United States according to the CDC. The flu presents an ongoing serious risk to individuals across the globe every year; especially the extremely young and old and others who may not have adequate immune systems to fight this dreaded illness. Even if you do not have a weakened immune system, you are still at risk of threatening complications from the flu depending upon the strand of the virus.
How the flu commonly spreads
Recent research has proved that anyone can become infected with the flu by merely inhaling the exhaled air from someone infected up to two days prior to their showing symptoms. Transmission, however, becomes even more prevalent when breathing in what has been coughed or sneezed. Every day we experience a wide variety of bacteria and viruses through both physical contact and inhalation. So simply going about your breath-in/breath-out, day-to-day life puts you at risk of catching the flu.
Why the flu is so dangerous
Flu outbreaks have always been a major concern historically, even in the more modern world. Almost 100 years ago, the Spanish flu outbreak took 50-100 million lives in 1918. Every few years in the news influenza viruses commonly make the headlines for months as a new outbreak begins to spread at a rapid and alarming pace. In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) made known concerns over a new form of avian influenza spreading quickly within the southern areas in China. The CDC ranked its H7N9 influenza strain to be the highest possible threat for viruses. Worldwide panic quickly ensued as doctors and researchers were unable to develop an effective vaccine quickly.
How vaccines can have their limitations
Although vaccines can be highly effective in protecting us from specific influenza strains, they can’t offer advance protection from all the evolving influenza strains. Researchers do their best to predict the flu strain that will be the most common the following fall and winter and develop a targeted vaccine in time for that but cannot accurately predict every possible strain; including such that might have pandemic potential.
Taking the proper precautions to avoid getting the flu
While much is made of protecting oneself by washing your hands regularly with soap and water and avoid touching your face/mouth, considering how often our hands encounter infected surfaces and that we unconsciously touch our faces, this is certainly not a sure bet for preventing infection … though still good advice in general. We believe the Waterford Mask is one of the best solutions for ultimate protection since the primary means of flu transmission are from airborne particles and our respirator can not only provide protection against the inhalation of such but also has a biocidal filter will can kill the pathogens caught within our unique filter material. And the WMS offers the most affordable (due to its re-usability) and comfortable form of protection as well.