Are you prepapared for flu season?
Flu season is officially here! Kids are back in school and it is time to protect your family against the flu. Last year's flu season had a devastating impact on many in the state of Texas and throughout the rest of the country. The CDC estimates that approximately 80,000 Americans and 10,000 Texans lost their lives due to flu-related illnesses last winter. The number of pediatric deaths this past season reached a new high, 181, excluding pandemic years. The loss of anyone to a disease that can be prevented is horrible, but especially when it is a child.
If that isn’t more than enough of a reason for you to get you and your family the flu shot, here are five more reasons.
1. It’s Gross
To start, having the flu is just nasty. If you get it, your best-case scenario is a combination of fever, sores, aches, chills and stomach issues. It will make you less productive at work and will put a damper on your social life. The vaccine helps prevent the flu, it also minimizes the impact if you do still happen to catch the virus, so you’re protected in both scenarios.
2. The flu vaccine prevents illnesses and saves money
During the 2016-17 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented 2,640,000 medical visits and 84,700 hospitalizations, saving millions of dollars in health care costs
3. It Protects Others
Even if you aren’t at risk personally, you can protect others by getting your flu shot. A whopping 90 percent of flu deaths are those 65 or older; widespread vaccination protects this group. Do it for your grandma.
4. It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect
Waiting any longer leaves you unprotected for an extended amount of time, even after you get your shot, so stop putting it off. Don’t wait to see how bad this year’s flu season gets.
5. It’s Different Every Year
Yeah, it’s annoying to get a flu shot every year. But it’s essential for two reasons: The antibodies produced in your body from the vaccine decline as time goes on, so the shot is less likely to protect you a year after receiving it. And flu viruses mutate rapidly. Because of this, the formulation of the vaccines is reviewed each year and updated to protect against new strains. An annual shot is necessary to keep a fever (or something worse) from ruining your holidays.
Flu season officially began on Oct. 1, are you and your family protected? If not, talk to your doctor about the vaccine and prevent the preventable!