Influenza for 100 years remains the worst of any annual seasonal epidemic varying in strength on a regional, national and international basis’. It caused more damage and death than polio, tb and Aids combined.
The influenza contagion appears to develop as low level nascent bugs in the summer/fall period often in South China and Europe. They gain momentum peaking in the winter months and falling off by spring’s onset.
Influenza epidemics keep increasing in size
So in more recent days, 2010 was the largest national epidemic in most of our lifetimes. In the US alone, it took 39,000 lives, hospitalized 250,000 and sickened 20 million. In fact then, one in five Americans got influenza. The good news is that children’s death and hospitalization went down in 2010 – that trend continuing for 30 years. So too, elderly death remains flat adjusted for population growth. But death and hospitalization of adults rises rapidly on each outbreak. Given the improvement, growth and distribution of vaccinations what could this be? Below are some possible answers:
- Work ethic and the workplace: Staples in winter of 2012 released a study showing the 90% of all sick employees would come to work sick and thereby contagious. Also, only 65 % of the employees from Staples’ study believe the number of days to be out of the office with the flu is one to three days, and therefore they return to work contagious. The flu virus may actually be contagious one day prior to the display of symptoms, and up to five to seven days after becoming sick.
- Increases dehydration: More and more Americans are dehydrated and don’t know it. They don’t drink enough water, and dehydration can cause your breath to be dehydrated and concentrated with illness, and thereby more contagious.
- Lack of sanitation: In the same Staples study, only 51% of the surveyed employees clean their desks once a week or even less, and many employees don’t view common areas like the break room sink or the office microwave as potential contagion infested areas. This is most likely the case in most offices around the country, but germs can live on surfaces for up to three days.