Avoid the Flu? Bird, Swine or Otherwise
Some non-profit organizations are doing their best to improve the situation. Bread and Water for Africa, a charitable organization affiliated with Christian Relief Services, works to improve the quality of life of African people by providing education, resources and healthcare.
Avoid the Flu? Bird, Swine or Otherwise admin
admin on Thursday, June 6, 2013
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(NewsUSA) - Aches, nausea, fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose reveal the unwelcome truth -- you've gotten the flu again this year.

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Though largely considered harmless, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with flu complications. In the United States, 36,000 people die each year from problems caused by the flu.

And of course, the recent outbreak of swine flu, or the H1N1 flu, has everyone concerned. The best way to avoid swine flu is to take the same precautions you would against any flu - wash your hands, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze and avoid close contact with sick people.

You can also choose to get vaccinated against the flu virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination and says that it's especially important for pregnant women, children, seniors and people with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes to get vaccinated.

If you do get the flu, stay at home, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter drugs to relieve your symptoms. Most people's immune systems can fight off the flu virus.

Of course, having a healthy immune system is largely dependent on living conditions. While most Westerners survive the flu, influenza can wreak havoc in third-world countries. Take Africa. There, many people do not have the running water or soap to wash their hands after they sneeze, much less access to flu vaccinations. Poor nutrition makes immune systems more vulnerable. And should someone fall seriously ill, they might not have any access to healthcare. For example, for its 80 million citizens, Ethiopia has only two hospitals specialized to treat the flu.

Some non-profit organizations are doing their best to improve the situation. Bread and Water for Africa, a charitable organization affiliated with Christian Relief Services, works to improve the quality of life of African people by providing education, resources and healthcare. The charity helps run a women's health clinic in Sierra Leone and an infant nutrition program in Uganda, as well as other life saving initiatives throughout Africa, including Ethiopia.

For more information, visit www.africanrelief.org.

                           
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