Flu and You: Virus widespread in half the states
January 28th, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Flu and You: Virus widespread in half the states

Half of the states have widespread flu activity, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From January 16 to 22, flu activity increased and three flu-related deaths were reported in children, according to the CDC. During this flu season, which started in October, there have been 13 confirmed pediatric deaths.

The highest levels of flu-like activities were reported in the South and Southeast, including Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina.

To keep up the awareness about personal responsibility of preventing flu spread, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has launched a public education campaign reminding Americans to cover their sneezes and to practice good hygiene.

According to a recent national poll, cited by the foundation, 68% of Americans did not realize that flu viruses can travel five to six feet from a sneeze or a cough, and 66% admitted they went about daily activities despite experiencing flu symptoms.

soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. amanda

    Let's get something straight. The ADA is for people with DISABILITIES, not people that are sick with the flu or some other curable ailment. The FMLA is its own law. Duh. Seriously, learn what you're talking about before you make yourself look retarded on the internet. And to the first few comments: the doctor that "discovered" the link between autism and vaccines just admitted to "fudging" the evidence in his research. He felt there was a correlation so he (pardon the phrase) doctored his paperwork to make his hypothesis work. Instead of letting he suspect fit the facts, he made the facts fit the suspect. Do some research people seriously.

    January 31, 2011 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lou

      I would say the same thing for you. Do a "proper" research about Wakefield. Deer sounded like a POS bent on hell trying to discredit him over MMR and autism.

      Guess what? Wakefield may be right after all. Big pharma is no difference than big media (CNN, FOX, etc). They can control whatever they want for PROFIT. Quit taking blue pill to keep living in fantasy world. It's really more about protecting profits.

      I'm going to save you precious time over researching autism and vaccines. It appears that the root cause is severe vitamin D deficiency and vaccines likely made symptoms of it much worse because immune system needs enough vitamin D to function properly when exposed to foreign substances like vaccines, flu, cold, cancer, etc.

      You lose.

      January 31, 2011 at 07:19 | Report abuse |
  2. jenni

    I am not the smartest person in the world, state, city, or even my home. Lol. BUT; I do know that I was against the flu shot for my kids for a long time until my oldest got a very bad case of pnemonia. He was in the hospital for a month, and had surgery. I was pregnant with my 2nd child during this time and he was born with asthma... When he gets the slightest bit sick he is on 2 seperate breathing treatment meds (that is 12 treatments a day)... So. I am 2 years in to being a huge fan of the flu shot... My oldest has not been sick since his hospital stay; my youngest has not been sick since the first few months of his life... And that is obviously not some brainy conclusion I formed an opinion on based in a fancy journal... That is my life. I don't judge others for not doing the same.

    January 31, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jenni

    Oh and my cousin didn't vaccinate her son because of the autism rumors. She currently HATES them... Why?! Because 2 years ago... She found out her son is autistic. After finding that out she took him to the doctor and throughout the year got all of his shots... Needless to say... He wasn't very happy about that. Lol.

    January 31, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Andy

    If you are sick STAY HOME. Stay home till at least 2 days after symptoms subside, and if you have to go out WEAR A SURGICAL MASK. Also, wash hands with hand sanitizer to avoid contaminating bathrooms & faucets.

    And "jenni" there is no link between autism and vaccinations. If you followed the news you'd have read how the scientist behind that study falsified the results. Vaccines save lives.

    – A

    January 31, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meh

      The news and scientists said it so it must be true...let me try :

      I was just told by scientists that I can turn cotton into gold.

      Wow it works! I suppose the government is guilt-free as well.

      January 31, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  5. Susan

    With regard to the debate on mercury between SM and WoodUshutup – Yes, thiomersal contains mercury – it also contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur. Chlorine is highly toxic and sodium is flammable when exposed to air but I'll bet SM has never been sickened or burned by table salt (sodium chloride). Don't assume that one atom of a toxic substance in a compound automatically renders it just as toxic as the original element. And WoodUshutup is right – thiomersal-free vaccines are available, so why not use them?

    January 31, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meh

      provided you can get your insurance to pay for the more expensive and less readily available version if the place has the non-mercury version in stock at all since it has a shorter shelf life.

      January 31, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  6. Eliavaa

    1) No vaccine is 100% effective.
    2) most people have never had the flu – they mistake a common cold for the flu. If you get the flu, you think you're dying, that's why most people end up in a hospital.
    3) Nothing is proven on Mythbusters, they don't do science, they don't replicate results, they don't do peer review.

    Let me repeat that: Mythbusters IS NOT SCIENCE!!!!

    -The plural of anecdote is not data

    January 31, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. fat so?


    January 31, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. fat so?

    Mna Juice?

    January 31, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AAF

    For those who say they have gotten the flu, really?

    You all tested positive for Influenza A? Not influenza B or a rhinovirus? It's also difficulty to tell the difference between early influenza A symptoms and the common cold – so stop beating up on parents – kids get sick so often it's probably not their fault.

    I worked in health care, directly with patients who tested positive for influenza A for 2 years during a horrible flu season and never once contracted the virus – wash your hands with soap and hot water, wear a mask, cover your mouth.

    Finally, most immune responses to vaccines produce extreemly high levels of mono-clonal (single specificity antibodies) antibodies drive the clearance of the virus. Polyclonal responses (which can better protect you later due to cross-reactivity found in a high-diversity antibody population) are found in people with actual influenza.
    I'm not getting a flu shot until I'm in my 70's and immuno compromised – until then I'm taking care of my body and letting my immune system do the rest – that is prevent catastrophic influenza because I'll have all of the functional antibodies I need due to previous natural exposure.

    PS- 0-9 months is an insane time-frame to vaccinate any child, they don't even have a fully functional immune system.

    January 31, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AAF

      **worked in health care 2 years... influenza A direct exposure & no vaccination.

      January 31, 2011 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
  10. flav

    How come every year widespread flu activity always originates in the South?

    January 31, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. San Frannie

    My son's preschool had a policy that I wish they had in his public school...any stomach/vomiting symptoms, keep them home for 24 hours after symptoms disappear. Temp above 99.6, they are sent home...i.e. parents need to pick them up from school. Pink eye, lice, etc., kid needs to be at home until treatments are successful and they are no longer contagious.

    January 31, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lou

    Flu and colds can be easily stopped in their tracks if you take vitamin D supplement, much higher than what the gov't tells us to take. Go to vitamin D council website for more information. Type flu in the search engine on that website and it will take you to more information over flu and vitamin D. 2 years and no flu or cold after taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 a day. Gov't tells us that we need 200 IU a day which is almost nothing. For white people, they can easily get as much as 20,000 IU after 20-30 minutes after standing in the sun at noon in bathing suit in the summer. Where did 200 IU a day come from? It makes no sense at all.

    January 31, 2011 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Surething

      LT33, knock it off. Vitamin D has not been proven to prevent the flu. THere are studies being done, but claiming that taking larger doses of Vitamin D is better than a flu vaccine is just ridiculous. So are you.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
  13. Todd

    I got my flu shot back on October. I work and commute in a disease filled environment. I take the L to/from work every day, and CTA doesn't clean them well. YUCK I work in O'Hare Airport full of sick people. Knock on wood I haven't had as much as a sniffle yet this Winter.

    January 31, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Franny

    I've never had a flu shot, but had a very bad case of the flu back in 2000. I haven't had the flu since, and I really believe that case I had in 2000 gave me a great deal of immunity. I was in, and out of many hospitals with my Mother, and Father, and also had several surgeries myself, and yet not once did I get the flu. My Brother, and sister in law always get their flu, and pneumonia shots, and are sick all the time with colds, bronchitis, and the flu. Go figure?

    February 1, 2011 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. amy

    Wow. The incredible ignorance on here is truly depressing.

    1. No vaccine is a guarantee. A vaccine greatly reduces the odds of your getting sick; it doesn't reduce them to zero. Even so, moving you into the "very unlikely to get sick" category is a good thing.

    2. Vaccines protect not just the individual but the population. When a pathogen finds fewer hosts, it has fewer opportunities to mutate into something more dangerous, or something that can beat the vaccine.

    3. The vaccine/autism thing has been debunked so many times it's amazing the story still has legs. Even the scientist who first put forth the theory has admitted that his work was fraudulent. If you still believe vaccines cause autism, please contact me, because I have a special invisible health fairy in a jar that I'd like to sell you for all the money you have.

    Franny, you're an idiot. There are many flu strains, or types. The flu you had in 2000 gave you some immunity to that strain of flu. If a different one hits the nation, you've got no immunity unless you've had the flu shot (assuming the CDC strain-pickers picked the right strains for the season, and their track record's pretty good).

    February 17, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Vitamin B12 has been proven to reduce the risk of both heart attacks and stroke. There are many reasons besides this, though, why B12 is such an important vitamin to include in your daily diet regimen to help maintain overall good health, vitamin plays an important rols in our daily life.

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