The flu is a contagious respiratory virus that causes high fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, running nose, headache, and fatigue. Contrary to common belief, the flu is NOT the “stomach flu” which causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
The flu is a serious infection that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses a circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
- 57% reduction in chance of being hospitalized from the flu
- Lowers rates of cardiac events in those with heart disease
- Reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease
- May make illness milder if you do get sick
- Protects those around you
- Few side effects (Soreness, fevers and aches)
- Free with almost all insurance programs
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