Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Flu Is Back. . .And It's Badder Than Ever

by Maggie Sefton


Yes, yes, I know it should be "worse than ever."  But I'm a writer first and last, and I loved the alliteration of Back and Badder.
See?  I told you we writers were strange.  :)

Listen, Everyone, please pay attention and don't just nod and say "Yeah, yeah.  Flu comes every year.  What's the big deal?"  Well, the deal is that influenza is caused by a virus.  Smart vitruses.  Viruses are organisms that mutate.  They change because of the surroundings and/or what they encounter when they're doing their dirty work of making people sick.  That means that every year, viruses get smarter.  Yeah. . .smarter.  By  that, I mean that the organisms adapt to what they encountered, and then. . .they change, mutate, and in the process----they become different.   So. . .when the next late Fall rolls around and flu appears, it's actually a NEW flu.  It's changed.  Consequently, our flu vaccines don't realy work on the new strains.  The vaccines were made over the intervening months using LAST year's flu as the model., so to speak.  The flu vaccine can help shorten or lessen some of the symptoms you encounter, but it won't stop flu from making you sick.

This is a really simplistic explanation of a VERY complicated process, but it serves my purpose.  And my purpose is to warn you that this year's flu is a very bad flu.  Worse than last year and the year before and. . . so on.   Many people here in Colorado who've caught it have seen really bad symptoms----coughing in one person, nausea in another.  The Urgent Care clinics all over my town Fort Collins are packed.   When I caught it Tuesday of last week, I fought the nausea for over a day with prescription anti-nausea pills.  Didn't faze the flu.  Every six hours when the pills wore off, the nausea was back, again and again.  Those pills have always worked before----for years.   Not on this flu.  On Wednesday I had to throw in the towel and go to the hospital ER for an IV drip with special anti-nausea medicine which stops it cold.  Brother!

So----the purpose of this post is to warn all of you readers and bloggers and visitors:  TAKE THIS FLU SERIOUSLY.  It's vicious.  It grabs you and won't let go.   Go to your town's Urgent Care or clinics and get help.  Don't think that resting, taking Tylenol, and drinking fluids will get you through this.  As I said-----this flu is vicious.   Take it seriously and seek treatment.   Stay safe.