Last year was one of the worst flu seasons in decades. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, some 80,000 people died during the 2017-2018 flu season. As a result, there’s been a significant effort to increase awareness and to get people to go get their flu vaccine as this year’s flu season begins.
The Impact of 2017-2018 Flu Season
Among those that died as a result of the flu last year, 180 of them were children, most of whom were not vaccinated. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40 percent of American children did not get vaccinated for the flu last year. The number of children between the ages of six months and four years that weren’t vaccinated increased as well.
Besides the surprisingly high death toll, the flu caused serious enough problems that 900,000 people were hospitalized as a result. Although the flu season lasted from October to May, it was in November that the virus began to really have a huge effect. In fact, last year’s flu season was the first to be considered “high severity” for people of all ages.
The Importance of a Flu Vaccination
Getting a flu vaccination every year is the responsible thing to do. Not only will you protect yourself from getting the flu, but you’ll help prevent the virus from being spread to others. Some inoculated people may get the flu but it may not have a big impact on their health. Their bodies may be able to fight it off within a week or so. However, if they aren’t vaccinated, they could spread it to others and cause them more serious health problems.
It’s particularly important for the elderly, children, pregnant women, and adults who have chronic health problems to get their flu shots. Because different strains of the flu spread every year, it’s also important that you get your flu shot before every flu season. Flu vaccinations are not lifetime vaccinations.
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