How Respiratory Viruses (Flu, RSV) Impact Families
Flu and other viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are a huge part of our lives that we cannot ignore. They impact our health, disrupt our daily routine, and can even have long-term or fatal outcomes. Flu and RSV are serious diseases, and we are all at risk, regardless of age, gender, health status, ethnicity, or lifestyle.
One of the most significant ways in which flu and other viruses impact families is through the physical symptoms they cause. When one family member gets sick, it is often only a matter of time before the virus spreads to other members. This can cause a domino effect of illnesses that can last for weeks or even months. When multiple family members are sick at the same time, it can be challenging to care for everyone and keep up with daily responsibilities. In worst cases, the flu and other viruses can lead to hospitalization.
The CDC estimates that so far this flu season, there have been at least 26 million illnesses, 290,000 hospitalizations, and 18,000 deaths from the flu (including more than 138 pediatric deaths) each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000-80,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. RSV can be especially dangerous for some infants and young children. In fact, one to two out of every 100 children younger than six months of age with RSV infection may need to be hospitalized.
Another way that flu and other respiratory viruses impact families is through the emotional toll they take. It is extremely hard to see a loved one suffering from an illness. Illnesses can cause stress and anxiety, particularly when there are concerns about how long the illness will last and whether it will have any long-term consequences.
Here at Families Fighting Flu, we understand the impact the flu can have on families. Our organization was born out of a need to spread awareness about the seriousness of the flu and encourage change. Our passionate board of directors is a group of people brought together by a single cause, and each of them has their own family story dealing with the flu. These family stories put a face to the flu and illustrate why we’re so driven in our mission.
Because of families advocating and sharing their stories, we have seen real change. Families Fighting Flu played an instrumental role in establishing the CDC’s universal recommendation for flu vaccination to include all individuals six months of age and older.
Families Fighting Flu is a community of people supporting each other through extremely difficult times. Share your Flu or RSV story to help make a difference for families across the country!