How to Keep the Flu Away
This flu season is a good time for all of us to rethink our place in the global village and embrace reciprocal stewardship through common need.
MUST DO LIST:
1. Get Vaccinated. Even though vaccines have to be formulated based on the prior years' influenza strain and a guess about the next, general cross-reactivity can provide significant protection. Even when that protection is incomplete, outcomes are decidedly improved. If flu still strikes, the incidences of hospitalization and morbidity are significantly less in the vaccinated population.
2. Utilize Social Media. Campaigns to encourage specific patterns of personal hygiene like hand washing can diminish the person-to-person transmission of flu and social media platforms can be a quick and easy way to get the word out.
3. Know When to Not Go. Voluntary restriction from the school or the workplace when sick is an imperative means to diminish infectious spread. If the flu becomes a real threat, parents must be prepared to welcome school closures to protect their children and their teachers. It is a matter of education and should be a requirement for school administrators, health professionals, chief executive officers, and religious leaders who determine when the faithful congregate.
Dr. Bill Miller has been a physician in academic and private practice for over thirty years. He is the author of The Microcosm Within: Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome. Dr. Miller is an internationally recognized evolutionary biologist and an expert on the emerging science of the microbiome. He is the author/co-author of numerous academic papers on the microbiome and evolution, serves as guest editor of a major academic biology journal and is co-editor of a forthcoming textbook on developmental and evolutionary biology.