When the Flu Strikes, Laughter Is the Best Medicine

When you’re flat on your back with the flu, the ceiling becomes a blank slate on which you can write your thoughts.  Still bedbound on day five of what experts say is usually a three-day event (I would love to personally update these “experts”), I have moved on from feeling sorry for myself to thinking about the advantages of this dramatic interruption in my life’s reel. I found 10 benefits to offset the inconvenient and uncomfortable minuses: 1. You save …

More Misery: Norovirus Stomach Bug Spreading

This is turning out to be a miserable winter for staying healthy. First it was the flu epidemic, and now comes word that a new, severe strain of norovirus – also called the winter vomiting bug or the cruise-ship virus – has spread from Australia to Europe to Canada to the U.S. Australian newspapers say the new norovirus, first identified in Sydney last March, has killed nursing home residents from California to Japan, kept cruise ships carrying suspected patients docked …

Immunizations: A Family Affair

A visit to the emergency room with my Mom yesterday reminded me that flu season is paying an early, and unwelcome, visit this year. Our hospital, along with so many across the nation, was crowded with those suffering from the flu. We wore masks, offered as we registered in the ER, the entire time we were there … just in case. Last year saw fewer cases of influenza reported than ever before recorded – primarily due to a higher number …

7 Flu-Fighting Strategies for Family Caregivers

More influenza (aka flu) talk. If you are a family caregiver, you can reduce the chances that both you and your loved one will get the dreaded virus. It’s about vigilance and, yes, luck. But regardless, tissues and hand sanitizer need to be your best friends. Older people can have weakened immune systems, making them susceptible to flu and its complications. Nearly 90 percent of flu deaths and 60 percent of flu hospitalizations happen to those age 65-plus. And if you, …

Flu Season: It’s Here and It’s Bad

Flu season has officially reached epidemic proportions across the country with 47 states reporting widespread flu activity and emergency rooms contending with a flood of patients. Adding to the misery is that this year’s flu strain is a much more aggressive type than last year’s. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency this past weekend, giving pharmacists permission to administer flu vaccinations to more people. The mayor of Boston also declared a public health emergency last week …

5 Flu Myths Debunked

We can think of an excuse to get out of anything we don’t want to do – like getting a flu shot. Maybe you’re one of those folks who rarely get sick so you scoff at the flu messages each year. Maybe you’re plain scared. But the truth of the matter is, if you’re over 65, you’re playing with fire if you don’t get the flu vaccine. This age group has the highest rates of influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations, says …