The FLU is bad this year – please be careful.
Reports of flu are increasing dramatically in January in comparison to December. For instance, in Missouri the number of new cases jumped from 187 in the first week of December to 1300+ in the first week of January. That is scary.
Why, you may ask, is this scary beyond normal? This year’s predominant flu strain is the H1N1 (aka Swine Flu) that killed many in 2009. It is especially harmful to people younger than 30 and also those who are pregnant.
This is not medical hype. I worked at a US top-10 ranked hospital from 2008-2011 and I saw it firsthand. I took care of a 30yo pregnant mother of 5 who, after contracting the flu around Thanksgiving, died about a month later. Many ppl on this site are suspicious of medical stuff in general, but I can tell you this lady came to us in a downward spiral and everything we gave her was support. We didn’t “do” anything to her, other than give everything we had to save her.
She had no major medical history or anything that would complicate matters, but still her kidneys failed, her BP was very erratic, her temp dropped to the 93 degree range, and her lungs failed in such a way that we had to use a machine called ECMO. ECMO is the heart/lung bypass machine like what is used in open heart surgery… and using it is truly like bringing out the big guns and the last straw at the same time.
At 29 weeks pregnant they had to take the baby (a boy, who survived) because she no was no longer able to properly oxygenate. Her only hope was a lung transplant, but she was too sick to receive one.
Yes, this is a somewhat isolated case… the worst of the worst. But I SAW IT MYSELF and it was something that will never leave me. I am pregnant now and did not get the flu vaccine this year bc I no longer work in healthcare. This is a very legitimate concern and I am seriously curbing my time out in public until this settles down. I am also heavily schooling and reminding my husband about hand hygiene.