Not Too Late to Get Flu Shot

Frederick Owens
December 9, 2018

Health care providers are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine. Who is at the highest risk for having complications from it?

"It's not too late to get a flu shot", said Vonda Pruitt, director of nursing and social services for the Iroquois County Public Health Department. Those most at risk for the flu, according to MDH, include people age 65 and older, young children under 2 years old, pregnant women and individuals with chronic heart conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

Of course, the flu shot isn't flawless - the CDC says its effectiveness varies, generally reducing your risk by 40 to 60 percent. Flu is more likely to be severe or even deadly in these groups than among healthy adults.

"Influenza may be familiar, but should never be overlooked or accepted as a minor problem", said Dr. Alexia Harrist, Wyoming state epidemiologist, in a news release this fall. "It is extremely important for people to get vaccinated".

About 1.73 percent of patient visits to reporting doctor's offices, clinics, and school health services in MA as of November 30 showed influenza-like illnesses, defined by the state Department of Public Health as a fever of more than 100 degrees and a cough and/or sore throat.

This article is a condensed version of The Conversation article "Countering misinformation about flu vaccine is harder than it seems'".

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Last winter's flu season was a rough one, dominated by a particularly troublesome virus strain.

During last year's flu season, 325 adults and five children died in Kentucky due to flu or complications from the virus, and there were a record number of hospitalizations. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

According to the health unit, getting the flu shot during pregnancy protects an infant for the first six months of life. The child was not vaccinated for the current flu season.

Nurses can talk with patients and families about ways in which they can talk to their visitors about the importance of receiving the flu vaccine and can work with them to perhaps set limits or discourage visitors who have not been vaccinated.

While the vaccine is not flawless, it greatly reduces the chances of getting the flu and lessens the severity should one get ill. "You really need to protect yourself so you can thereby protect them". "I also refer them to the Centers for Disease Control website, cdc.gov, which provides up to date information for healthcare providers and the public", said Mayer.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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