The flu. Ugh. Every year, this contagious respiratory illness rears its ugly head. It can cause mild to severe illness, but the serious outcomes of a flu infection can result in hospitalization or even death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at a high risk for these serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu? Vaccination. Every year.
Each year, the upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during that flu season (because the strains can change every year!).
Next week, December 4-10, 2016, is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). NIVW is a national awareness week focused on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. It reminds us that it's not too late to get a flu vaccine for this year.
While everyone six months of age and older needs a flu vaccine, the majority of hospitalizations and deaths from the flu occur in people 65 years and older, so it's particularly important that we make certain our senior loved ones are taken care of this flu season. To find a clinic near you, you can use the Flu Vaccine Finder on www.cdc.gov/flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some great resources to learn more about fighting the flu- you can find them by clicking here.