Influenza (Flu) is more than a cold, or even a “bad cold,” and can result in serious health complications like pneumonia, bacterial infections, and hospitalization. Flu can sometimes lead to death. In fact, during the 2018-2019 flu season, CDC estimates flu caused:
· 49 million flu illnesses – more than the combined populations of Texas and Florida
· 960,000 flu hospitalizations – more than the number of staffed hospital beds in the United States
· 79,000 deaths – more than the average number of people who attend the Super Bowl each year
· Flu activity most commonly peaks between December and February and can last as late as May.
The Flu Vaccine Provides Many Benefits!
There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.
¨ Flu vaccination helps prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions.
¨ Flu vaccination is associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had a cardiac event in the past year.
¨ Several studies show flu vaccination reduces the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated, but still get sick.
¨ Getting yourself vaccinated may also protect the people around you.
There’s More You Can Do to Help Prevent Flu! In addition to getting your flu vaccine this season, CDC also urges you to take everyday preventive actions to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
· Avoid close contact with sick people.
· While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
· If you are sick, stay away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread that way.