This season's exhaustive influenza epidemic is still topping the charts, making it more important than ever to maintain a safe home for our senior loved ones.
The Centers for Disease Control tells us that hospitalizations have not only surpassed horrendous the 2014-2015 conditions, but the rate is now the largest the C.D.C has ever seen at this point in the season. Take a look with the chart below:
48 states are still experiencing "widespread" flu activity, and if the current rates continue, the U.S. will exceed the 710,000 deaths we saw just a few years ago. Among these deaths, the overwhelming majority are those who are 65 and older, followed by those over 50 with underlying conditions.
With the elderly at an alarming risk for serious flu complications, their caretakers and housemates are at an increased risk as well. If you are pregnant, have a chronic medical condition, or also care for small children, your exposures and risks are even greater.
The flu is tricky, waiting to show signs until after you are already contagious, and remaining a hazard to others for up to another week after symptoms are displayed. To make matters worse, once you've contracted and finally beaten the flu, you are still susceptible to catching different forms of the virus.
Even with the flu vaccine, our best protection against the brutal illness, antibodies take two weeks to develop in the body, and the vaccine has varying levels of effectiveness. For our loved ones at home, this means clean indoor air is a vital basis for a safe flu season that won't continue to spread.
While achieving sufficient air quality used to mean hiring a professional, or guessing at HVAC maintenance yourself, now you can always know in real-time when your filters are becoming clogged, and therefore ineffective.