The flu can kill even healthy kids quickly

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Parents who fail to vaccinate their kids against the flu are rolling the dice with their lives, a new study suggests. Research by Karen Wong, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control, and colleagues found that 829 children died from influenza in the United States from Aug. 1, 2004, and May 5, 2012. Even previously healthy children without a high-risk medical condition were vulnerable and a third of all kids died in just three days from first displaying symptoms, giving doctors little time to begin antiviral therapy, which is only moderately effective, and certainly not a substitute for the vaccine.
Many ill-advised and misinformed parents genuinely believe they are protecting their kids health by avoiding flu shots and other childhood vaccinations, notes ACSH s Cheryl Martin, but this study further supports what ACSH has long argued the benefits of these immunizations far outweigh the risks.
Even flu shots cannot provide perfect protection, however but they do cut a child s risk of getting the influenza virus by two-thirds, according to another study, conducted by University of Southern California in Los Angeles researchers who examined 4,500 students at eight elementary schools. They found 5.5 percent of kids who were unvaccinated and 1.8 percent of children who got the shots came down with flu in the 2010-2011 flu season.