For most people, it is easy to forget about the flu when scares about different diseases are plastered all over the news media. However, the flu remains one of the most deadly diseases to ravage our country every year. The flu generally doesn’t kill; it’s complications that arise that lead to death. Let’s dive in and take a look at how this illness can lead to death.
Every year influenza causes between 12,000 and 49,000 deaths worldwide and can hospitalize around 700,000. With numbers like these, it is essential to define what a flu-related death entails. Some people can die directly from the virus itself due to difficulty breathing, or extreme dehydration, but most die from complications. The most common complication is that the flu can morph into bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is much more severe than the flu and can lead to death. In addition to pneumonia, the flu can cause sepsis and severe heart infections. These severe cases lead to extended hospitalization and possible death.
The flu is a dangerous disease that needs to be handled with care. You might be wondering what can be done to prevent the flu. The most important precaution is to receive the flu vaccine every year. This safe vaccine reduces your chances to contact the virus, and can also limit the severity of the infection once contacted. Another precaution is proper handwashing. Many people do not adequately wash their hands after coming in contact with dirty surfaces. You should thoroughly scrub your entire hand for at least twenty seconds.
Yes, the flu is a severe illness. This flu season be prepared; get your flu shot early, clean your home often, and don’t forget to practice proper handwashing techniques.