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Flu Vaccine Guards Against Deadly Virus


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For many in the healthcare community, spreading the message about the effectiveness and safety of flu vaccine is of the highest importance. Each flu season, public health officials and healthcare providers on the front lines make it their mission to help protect people from the sometimes fatal complications associated with the flu virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions. So who should get a flu vaccine? Pretty much everyone! People 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, young children, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, neurological problems, or individuals with a compromised immune system are all at high-risk for catching the flu and are strongly encouraged to schedule an annual flu vaccine as soon as possible. A high-dose flu vaccine formulated for those aged 65 and older is also available for the upcoming flu season.

According to the CDC, the flu is a serious infection, and when combined with pneumonia, it is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. Flu-related deaths are almost as prevalent as deaths from AIDS or breast cancer. With the coming 2012-13 flu season, September, October and November are the recommended months to receive a flu vaccine. However, getting vaccinated later in the season can still provide protection because flu seasons often peak after January.

Influenza symptoms and severity can vary anywhere from a cough, sore throat and muscle aches to a fever with chills, fatigue and headaches. What you may not know is that flu is highly contagious before the onset of symptoms. According to the CDC, “Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick.” This means that it is possible to pass along this potentially deadly virus before you even know you have it. That’s yet another reason why getting a flu vaccine is so imperative.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to stop the contagious spread of influenza. As stated by the CDC, “flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.” With the coming 2012-13 flu season, healthcare professionals know that the flu virus is nothing to sneeze at. Influenza is a deadly virus that kills more people each year than all vaccine-preventable diseases combined; the simplest and safest way to combat statistics like this is to get vaccinated.

Last year’s flu season was mild, and often the general public is lulled into complacency thinking this year will be mild as well. Yet it was only a couple of years ago when the H1N1 flu pandemic killed thousands around the globe. The truth is it’s never good to gamble when it comes to your health. Getting your annual flu vaccine will protect you, your loved ones and your work mates. For more information on seasonal flu and flu vaccine, contact your healthcare provider today.

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  • Posted On August 8, 2012
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