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Why you should follow this flu season



  How to follow the flu

Following the flu activity in your area can help prevent you from getting sick.


Yuri Arcurs peopleimages.com / Getty Images

If you have ever had the flu, you know how bad the symptoms can be. From a sore throat, cough, pain, chills and a high fever – it's not fun and can lead to more serious problems, even death in severe cases. In fact, the CDC estimates that from October 2018 to May 2019 there were 37.4 million-42.9 million reported flu diseases and between 36,400-61,200 deaths from the flu.

Read more: Where to get a flu shot this season

If those numbers aren't enough to get you a flu shot, just talk to someone who had the flu last year and chances are high that they tell you they wished they had the flu shot.

Getting a flu shot is a way to protect yourself, and you can also prevent exposure by avoiding areas with outbreaks by tracking the flu activity in areas that you live or are going to visit. Keep reading for more information about why you should follow the flu and how you should do this.

Why you should follow the flu

There are several reasons why you want to track flu activity, especially that you know when it is active in your area. If this is the case, you want to be sure that you have been vaccinated to prevent the risk of getting sick.

If you know that there is flu in your area, you can also be vaccinated earlier, according to Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and expert in infectious diseases. "Tracking the flu is useful for the general public who are planning to get their vaccination – they may have a delay and know that flu activity is near their location, they can get them to get vaccination," Adalja told CNET. How to follow the flu ] Following the flu “/>

The flu shot is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of flu.


/ Getty Images

In addition, Adalja said that following the flu is important for organizers, educators, or people working in schools and event planners, because certain events and gatherings may not be ideal during a bad community outbreak.

"If you are in an area with an outbreak it is important to be vaccinated and to practice good hygiene (frequent hand washing). If you have symptoms, it is also important to seek evaluation, especially if you have relentless fever, shortness of breath, being pregnant or high risk of flu complications due to pre-existing medical problems, "Adalja said.

Again, one of the best ways to actively prevent flu is immunization, but if you are looking for other ways to prevent it, tracking can help. This is especially important for people who cannot be vaccinated or have an immune system.

How to Track the Flu

Various websites and apps offer flu tracking services that let you see where the flu is active. Some sites also offer predictions or "risk assessments" for your region in the future. Most of these sites are powered by data collected by official health professionals, but a few (such as the flu in your area) rely on crowdsourcing and you can report your own symptoms directly if you want.

  daily-health-flu-card "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/bOsICbPrTnwyBn2Czxs9QHH8nTA=/2019/10/07/76b762cc-d4ca-4832-a400-eefeeece6282/everyday-health -flu-map.png

Screenshot by Mercey Livingston / CNET

Everyday Health Flu Map

With the Everyday Health Flu Map you can enter your zip code and the system generates flu risks and predictions for the coming season for your location. The map will tell you if your area is considered a moderate or serious risk in the following month.

  flu-near-u-flu-card "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/ vEpmdWX-BL3DL-qogklfj4IvX9Y = / 2019/10/07 / 6e1083e7-26a7-4293-92d9 -4f59e4a30360 / flu-near-you-flu-map.png [19659026] flu-near-you-flu-map [19659022] Screenshot by Mercey Livingston / CNET
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<h3>  Flu in your area <br /></h3>
<p>  Flu in your area displays a map of areas with flu activity of user-reported symptoms and reports from the CDC. You can report your own symptoms (even if you are not sure if it is a flu diagnosis) to help the site keep track of data in real time. You can also see the average flu activity in the entire country over the past seven days. </p>
<figure class=  cdc flu card "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/FhYVXCHa_ERD9cO0cC66WWUcYYY=/2019 /10/07/dcb4d881-2c43-4628-8af9-e8f9a0b6a23e/cd.cpflumap- cialis19659031 strencdcdc-flu-map cialis19659022ibScreenshot by Mercey Livingston / CNET
</span></figcaption></figure>
<h3>  CDC Weekly Flu Card <br /></h3>
<p>  The CDC flu card shows the number of reported cases and flu activity in each state (Note: the card is not yet updated for the 2019-2020 flu season). The CDC updates the reports weekly during the flu season and also compares current trends with previous flu seasons. </p>
<figure class=  sickweather "height =" 0 "width =" 370 "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/ img / u1vpTYlEd5xURyyvSwho3FQlu_k = / 370x0 / 2019/10/07 / 1c56ea6b-7347-4104-8f8f -eb7d7e5073fa / sickweather.png

Sickweather

Sickweather is an app that relies on "social media forecasts" to collect data about where the flu is active in metropolitan areas. The app then assesses how much risk there is in your region and can predict future trends.

Keep in mind that Sickweather uses crowdsourcing and social media to make his predictions, but according to the website, the data is "regularly correlated and validated with available data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)" [19659006] Read more: A flu vaccine created by AI starts testing in the US


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