Stay ahead of the cold & flu this season. Before you leave the house check in with our cold & flu tracker. Enter a zip code and keep an eye on cold and flu outbreaks in your area and around the country.
What's the difference between a Cold and the Flu? Between the Swine Flu and Bird Flu? Who's at greatest risk for the Flu? Protecting your family from the germs that cause colds and the flu is easier than you might think. We're glad you asked. Find all this and more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 15 and 60 million Americans develop the flu each year.i Cold and flu season, which usually begins as early as October, is unpredictable and can even result in severe illnesses, particularly amongst children. Approximately 20,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized each year as a result of complications from the flu.ii Unfortunately, people may be unaware that they are infected, thus contributing to the spread of cold and flu viruses. The CDC notes that adults can pass on the flu to another person just one day before symptoms develop and five to six days after being sick, while children can remain contagious for longer than seven days.iii
The Global Hygiene Council (GHC) is committed to staying ahead of virus outbreaks and providing resources for consumers to help prevent infection. In light of the current outbreak of a variant Influenza A strain called H3N2v, which upon the drafting of this statement has infected 297 people across ten U.S. states and resulted in one deathiv, the GHC has analyzed data from its 2012 studies, which are supported by an educational grant from Lysol®. The studies show that while Americans have a strong knowledge regarding good hygiene, they do not always take appropriate measures to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, demonstrating the need to elevate the importance of adopting good hygiene practices during this year's cold and flu season.
i U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: http://pandemicflu.gov/individualfamily/about/seasonalflu/.
iiCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children, the Flu and the Flu Vaccine. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm.
iiiCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). How Flu Spreads. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm.
ivCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seasonal Influenza (Flu). Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/.
vH1N1 Study. Global Hygiene Council. 2010.
viU.S. School Swabbing Study. Global Hygiene Council. 2012.
viiBack-to-School Study. Global Hygiene Council. 2012.
viiiCross-Contamination Study. Global Hygiene Council. 2011.
ixCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.
xEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA). Antimicrobial Products Registered for Use Against the H1N1 Flu and Other Influenza A Viruses on Hard Surfaces. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/influenza-disinfectants.html.
xiCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for Animals in School and Child-Care Settings. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6004a1.htm?s_cid=rr6004a1_w#AppD.
xiiCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). H3N2v and You. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-basics.htm.
xiiiCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm.