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10 Habits That Are Putting You at Risk

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10 Habits That Are Putting You at Risk

As soon as your nose starts running, your body starts aching, and your fever spikes, you know you’ve come down with the worst winter sickness out there: the flu.

According to the CDC, there have been nearly 9,000 confirmed flu-related hospitalizations since October, which is almost double from this time last year. Multiple deaths are also being reported, including a 6-year-old who died suddenly from the virus on Friday.

“This seems to be the worst flu season we’ve had here in the last 10 to 15 years,” Dr. Adrian Cotton, chief of medical operations at the Southern California hospital, told ABC’s Good Morning America. “We’re seeing a lot more patients for the flu and the patients we’re seeing are a lot sicker than usual.”

One of the reasons this season has been so dangerous is because the dominant strain, H3N2, is more aggressive and has an impressive ability to mutate. Because of this, some doctors are encouraging patients to turn to virtual health care options to avoid risk of infection in over-flowing emergency rooms.

The public health agency says flu symptoms usually start suddenly, not gradually, and some of the signs you’ve come down with it include a fever or feeling chills, a cough, a sore through, a stuffy or runny nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea. It’s important to note that the also CDC says “not everyone with flu will have a fever.”

Keep an eye out for these symptoms as winter continues, and don’t forget your pets! There’s a dog flu spreading across America as well, and while it’s a flu strain that’s different than the one affecting humans, it puts your pup at risk as well.

Since the virus typically peaks in February, avoid these mistakes to help avoid getting the (human) flu.

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