I'm taking something called Tamiflu, and my Doctor swears by it. So far it hasn't accomplished very much. I will be patient, however. What else do I have to do with my time?
Here is an article about this flu, just in case you find yourself so afflicted sometime soon.
H1N1 flu strain has returned with a vengeance (SF Gate.com link) - When the state released its most recent report Friday on the flu situation in California, one number stood out as particularly alarming: 95 deaths. That's the total of deaths reported to the state since the flu season started in October.
By this time last year, only nine deaths had been blamed on the flu.
But this season may not be as deadly as the report would have people believe, public health experts say. As striking as 95 deaths might seem, that number is just one piece of a larger flu puzzle that's complicated and still largely unsolved.
"This year seems to be shaping up to be a more severe flu season, but until it's over we're not going to know how much more severe," said Dr. Cora Hoover, director of communicable disease control and prevention for the San Francisco Public Health Department.
"If we just look at deaths, that's really the tip of the iceberg," she said. "Most of the iceberg is illness that is disruptive and keeps people away from normal activities for a few days, but it's not, thank goodness, life-changing."
Here's what we know about this year's flu season:
The main virus in circulation is a strain of influenza known as Type A, subtype H1N1 - known informally as the swine flu. It's the same strain that caused the 2009 outbreak that began in Mexico in April that year and swept around the globe in just a few months.
Mystery H1N1 surge
The biggest mystery about the current flu season may be why H1N1 has resurfaced. It's been circulating every year since 2009, but other strains have been dominating until this year.
No one knows why H1N1 is surging now.
The strain is known to target people younger than 65, which is why the death toll for this year seems unusually high - California only collects data on flu deaths in that younger population. Older people are usually much more susceptible to the flu, and tracking their deaths would be a monumental, and expensive, task.
Because the state doesn't keep strict records on total deaths from the flu, it's impossible to say whether this season is more or less deadly than any other season. In fact, records of deaths in adults under 65 only go back two years - the state began requiring counties to report those cases in 2011 - so no one can say just how bad a season this is even for middle-aged or young adults.
Statewide, outpatient visits and hospitalizations for the flu are higher than usual for this time of year, although that may be because the season is starting, and peaking, earlier than usual.
In last week's state flu report, outpatient visits fell slightly from the previous week - possibly the first sign that the season has peaked, said Dr. Gil Chavez, deputy director of the Center for Infectious Diseases with the California Department of Public Health.
Even so, the state's looking at another several weeks of flu activity, and it's not unusual for a second, smaller wave of flu - often from a Type B strain of the virus - to hit in March or even April.
You might want to get yourself a vaccine.