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Virginia is a red state, as was most of the United States the past few weeks.
This is no political statement; it's more of a medical report: The red indicates widespread flu activity reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as mapped on the nonprofit website Flu Near You.
This website also pinpoints on another map flu activity that's self-reported by site users. (I've been participating for about a year now) It's not scientific, but the site allows users to track and compare the symptoms as reported to the website with the CDC data.
Just check off any symptoms you may have experienced in a given week, and you'll be asked to provide a bit more detail if you report any symptoms such as a fever, but the report generally can be completed within seconds.
The CDC shows widespread flu in all but six of the lower 48 states, with Type A influenza the predominant strain this year. You can learn more about flu-related hospitalizations and mortality rates here.
The best way to stay well through the flu season is to take care of yourself. That starts with some hand-washing basics, i.e., don't just engage in a splash and dash; wash those hands for at least 20 seconds. Here's a refresher:
Wash Your Hands
A roundup of the week's health and medicine news
- You can help provide free mammograms to women who otherwise could not afford one at the Bowling for Boobs 2017 fundraiser on March 25 at AMF Sunset Lanes, 6540 W. Broad St. Admission to the fundraiser for Reach Out for Life is $30, which includes shoes. You can organize a team of six; individual participants will be placed into teams. Registration is at 12:30 p.m., and the event will follow from 1 to 4 p.m. Call 977-3920, or email email@example.com.
- The count and verification process is underway for Richmond magazine's Top Docs 2017, and the staff here at Voting Central is sorting through about 50 percent more ballots than we received last year. It's a record for participation. Thanks much for your help! In the coming weeks we will be contacting winners. The formal list of Top Docs will be announced in our April issue, and we'll celebrate our winners with an event to be held later in April. Stay tuned for details.