Every year as a new flu season falls upon local communities across the country, you hear about the latest strain of the virus and why everyone should get a flu shot. If you’re still on the fence, the experienced team of health care providers at Chesapeake ERgent Care in Gambrills, Maryland, explains the importance of getting a flu shot so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family.
Influenza is a potentially serious illness that can lead to hospitalization
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year on average more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized for heart or respiratory illnesses associated with the seasonal flu virus. This means that if you’re already in a high-risk category for heart or respiratory conditions, getting the flu could really take its toll on you and lead to a serious illness and a hospital stay.
How do you know if you’re in a high-risk group? If you have any of the following conditions, you have a higher risk for complications from the flu:
- Heart disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Kidney or liver disease
- Cystic fibrosis
People who are 65 or older and young children are also in the high-risk group for complications from the influenza virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 2017 study indicated that the flu vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of death from flu complications.
The flu virus changes, so you need a shot each year
The influenza virus evolves quickly, so the vaccine you had last year is most likely ineffective for subsequent flu seasons. As they become available, new flu vaccines are released each year to keep up with the rapidly changing viruses. It’s important to get the most current vaccine to protect yourself and your family against the latest strain of the influenza virus.
Sadly, in the 2017-2018 flu season, more people were hospitalized or died from the flu than in the past several decades. This year, health care professionals across the country are emphasizing the importance of getting a flu vaccine. It can prevent infections and reduce complications, or quite possibly prevent the death of a loved one.
The flu shot can help you recover faster if you do get sick
There’s a small chance that you can still become infected with the flu virus even after you’ve been vaccinated. But if you do get sick, the vaccine can help reduce the severity of your illness and can shorten the illness. This means fewer sick days from work, fewer school absences, and a reduced risk of complications.
It’s an added layer of protection during flu season
Last year, the flu vaccine was about 67% effective at protecting children from becoming infected with one strain of the influenza virus. That means more than half of the kids who have flu shots won’t get sick if they come in contact with the virus. Those are pretty good odds when you’re trying to keep your kids and your whole family healthy.
We make it convenient for you and your family to get vaccinated for this year’s flu season. Just call, book online, or stop by our office in the heart of the Crofton area. It’s our goal to get you in and vaccinated in 30 minutes or less.