As you may have already heard, the infamous H1N1 or “swine flu” virus has resurged in the 2013-2014 flu season. Last year, the most predominant flu virus was H3N2, a virus containing a combination of genes from common human, swine, and bird flu viruses. But this year H1N1 has returned as the most predominant flu virus. The H1N1 virus tends to have a more damaging effect on younger populations, where most viruses and viral infections tend to have a greater effect on the elderly. Almost 62% of hospitalizations reported this season from influenza have been people between the ages of 18 and 64, where normally the percentage is higher among the elderly. Additionally, two recent deaths of people in between the ages of 18 and 64 has drawn the attention of both the young and old population that has not yet gotten the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, the peak month of the year for getting a flu virus is February, when chances are double what they are in any other given month. The CDC offers several preventative measures that can be taken to decrease your chance of contracting the flu virus including washing your hands with soap and water throughout the day, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and maintaining healthy habits such as exercising, drinking lots of water, and eating and sleeping well. It is also recommended to manage stress efficiently and in a healthy way, as stress can lead to lowered immune capabilities.
Get Your Flu Shot on the Cheap or for Free
The most effective and most highly recommended method for preventing the flu virus and infection is vaccination. Vaccinations are easy to get and can be found free or for a very low price. Check your county health department for free vaccines in your area. Some health departments only have free vaccines for the elderly or for children, but others offer free vaccines for anyone who wants one. If your health insurance plan meets the new requirements from the Affordable Healthcare Act, your insurance should cover 100% of the cost of your flu shot from an in-network provider. Call your doctor or check with your employer for more information. If you have a high copay or no insurance, HelpRx offers coupons for discounts up to 42% off on popular antiviral vaccines such as Fluvirin, Flulaval, Fluzone, and Afluria.
Antiviral Drugs & Discounts
If you feel that you are coming down with the flu, you should stay home and see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have a fever, do not go back to work unless it has vanished for more than 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Diagnosing the virus early is key to a faster and easier recovery. If you have contracted the flu virus, your doctor will most likely recommend antiviral drugs and flu medication such as Tamiflu or Relenza that slow the growth of the virus in the body and cut recovery time. HelpRx offers coupons for discounts as high as 90% on these flu treatments usable at a pharmacy near you.
Although it is later in the flu season, medical experts say it’s not too late to get your flu shot and avoid infection so consider doing so and save with free flu shot programs or our free flu vaccine and treatment coupons.