Now that fall is upon us, cold and flu season is right around the corner. People are more likely to be indoors and transfering germs by shaking hands, coughing, and sneezing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu shot, beginning for those six months of age in which two shots need to be administered and older.
Another pertinent factor stressed by the CDC concerns the ever-changing strains of the influenza virus. Due to this aspect, healthcare professionals stress the importance of receiving the flue vaccination as soon as it becomes available.
Most people can tolerate the symptoms of the flu, which include the following: body aches, fever, chills, stomach upset and coughing.
However, for those with compromised immune systems, the flu can be deadly. As reported by CNN, last year s outbreak was the worst seen in a decade. On a national scale, 146 children died from the influenza virus, and on average 20,000 children younger than five years of age are hospitalized as a result of flu complications.
The flu can kill thousands per year, including many of those who are young. As for the elderly, they might experience a hard time battling the flu due to chronic health conditions such as asthma.
The CDC reported that last year s flu vaccine provided minimal protection against the virus, with an approximate rate of effectiveness as low as 19 percent. This happened because one of the flu vaccines was poorly matched with the actual flu strains that were circulating around the country.
As a result the World Health Organization recommends that the vaccine for the 2015-2016 season include an updated strain of H3N2, which will protect a larger part of the population.
And of course, since it's October, the agency recommends getting your flu shot right away.