47 states with high flu activity; strokes and depression

Forty-seven states are now reporting high flu activity. About a third of people who have a stroke develop depression afterwards.
Forty-seven states are now reporting high flu activity.

The good news is -- Arkansas' flu cases remain at a moderate level. That's despite seven flu deaths in Arkansas this year.

Health officials say the type of flu which is going around is called h3n2 -- which is often linked to more serious disease -- compared to some other flu varieties.

CDC researchers estimate this year's flu vaccine is sixty percent effective.

We want to remind all Arkansans that it's not too late to get vaccinated. Flu shots are being offered in every local health unit in the state.

In the meantime, people can take steps to keep the virus at bay.
  • Most important is wash your hands frequently
  • Get a lot of rest.
  • Eating a healthy diet will also help.
  • The mayo clinic suggests wiping down surfaces -- as places like kitchen counters, desks, refrigerators door handles and computer keyboards could harbor the flu for as long as forty-eight hours.
  • If you cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue or into your arm. That's because droplets from a vigorous cough can travel at 60 miles an hour.
  • If you feel like you're getting sick, stay home. People are contagious from a day before symptoms appear until four days after they disappear.

Stroke & depression

About a third of people who have a stroke develop depression afterwards.

Now a study finds depressed stroke victims put themselves at a much higher risk of dying.

University of Southern California researchers looked at nearly 11,000 people. They found people who had stroke and depression tripled their risk of dying early and were four times more likely to die from *another* stroke.

Irene Katzan, M.D.. Cleveland Clinic, says, "People, after a stroke they have a sudden onset of disability. Suddenly they can't do the things they could do before and that actually can be a really traumatic experience and people can get depressed after something like that."

Researchers say the findings highlight the importance of screening for and treating depression in people who experience a stroke.

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