Flu season is back and in full swing this winter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released information Friday that stated that more than 6 million people across America have contracted the Flu, and around 80,000 people have ended up in the hospital from October 1st through January 5th.
Last year’s Flu season was particularly deadly. Around 80,000 people died in America. The number of deaths this year has not been reported yet, but the Flu is said to be widespread across 30 states. Despite all the warnings and constant reminders to receive the Flu shot, people still are not cognizant of the Flu’s danger.
The very young, very old, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of becoming very ill and requiring hospitalization.
“It’s really not too late to get vaccinated,” states Dr. Fry, from the C.D.C’s influenza division.
The vaccine takes around 2 weeks to kick in, but the Flu season is expected to last longer than that. The effectiveness of this year’s vaccine is still unknown, but it is said that it is around 60% effective in reducing the need for a person to visit the doctor with symptoms.
There are antiviral drugs that can shorten and lessen the severity of the Flu, but they only work best when given within 72 hours. The C.D.C states that, “people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider quickly for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug.”
The importance of receiving the flu shot, especially in the elderly population cannot be stressed enough. Every doctor’s office and almost every pharmacy provides free flu shots covered my most insurances, so if you have not gotten the flu shot, go out today and take control of your health.