Flu Season Arrives with Reminder to Get Vaccinated

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Flu season on the horizon

The agency said the vaccine was an effective way of protecting women in all three trimesters.

"People who are healthy can get severe consequences from influenza", said Munoz, citing a 2018 study in the journal Pediatrics that found that half of children who die of the flu have no underlying medical conditions.

A discharge diagnosis of "acute respiratory or febrile illness" was identified using ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes, and the authors noted that acute respiratory or febrile illness hospitalizations were included only if a clinician ordered real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing for influenza within 3 days prior to admission through the discharge date.

He warns that if this flu season is anything like last year's, "it could be a bad one".

"The best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated", Weston said.

Another reason people don't get vaccinated is because they are more concerned about the vaccine than they are of the flu itself. Nationwide, there were 180 pediatric deaths from the flu previous year and approximately 80 percent of those who died did not receive a flu vaccine.

Taking preventative measures will not only help you, but it will also help protect people who can not get a vaccine. Kari O'Driscoll, a mother of two in Washington state, said she doesn't get the flu shot because she and her kids are healthy, and she doesn't think they would suffer dramatic health effects if they got sick.

Science, however, supports the safety and necessity of vaccinations. They might have to do more digging.

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Flu can be very serious.

Many health-insurance policies cover the cost of the flu vaccine in full, Excellus added. Instead, they should get a shot that has inactivated components that stimulate the antibody production that protects against the virus.

Focusing on just that one number, however, is short-sighted because it lumps all strains and all ages together, Munoz said. "The flu vaccine can prevent you from catching the virus or at least reduce the severity of the flu should you contract it". Even if you get it a little later, a little protection is better than none.

Pregnant women who receive a flu vaccine are 40 percent less likely to experience a flu-related hospitalization, according to a study published October 11 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Q: Should people still get the shot, even though it's not guaranteed to prevent the flu?

Vaccinations significantly decrease the likelihood of catching the flu and help minimize symptoms if you do get sick. Pregnant women and young children are also vulnerable: 180 children died past year from the flu, with some 80 percent of them un-vaccinated. If you get the flu shot and still contract the flu, the flu shot will shorten the duration of that infection so you're only ill a fraction of the time.

Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by almost two-thirds among healthy children. Getting the flu shot is about community; it's about everyone else around you.

Frequent hand washing, covering your face when you sneeze, avoiding sick people and staying home when you are sick until you are fever free for at least 24 hours can make a difference.

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