We’re Worried About This Flu Season: Here’s Why
- The highest hospitalization rates have been in children and older adults, specifically among people 65 years and older and children 0-4 years old.
- Flu hospitalizations are the highest reported at this time of the season in 10 years.
- Laboratory-confirmed flu activity continues to increase and has been highest in southeast and south-central parts of the U.S.
The CDC also estimates the impact of flu on an ongoing basis – so far this flu season in the U.S. there have already been:
- 880,000 – 2,200,000 flu illnesses
- 420,000 – 1,100,000 flu medical visits
- 6,900 – 15,000 flu hospitalizations
- 360 – 1,000 flu deaths
Clearly, flu is NOT an illness to be taken lightly. Especially for young children, older adults, and anyone with chronic medical conditions, it’s not “just” the flu. And it’s important to remember that flu can be serious for anyone, even without additional risk factors.
While all of this gives us good reason to be worried about this flu season, there’s still time to protect yourself and your family by getting your flu shots. Available flu vaccines have been updated this season to help protect against four different flu viruses that are or may be circulating in your community.
Have you read:
- Why We Celebrate “Flu Shot Day” in Our Home
- 3 Things I’ve Learned Since Losing My Son to Flu
- A Pastor’s Perspective: The Moral Case for Getting a Flu Vaccine
This is extra important because despite the severe flu season, flu vaccination rates may be lagging. Claims data for doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies show a decline of approximately 4 million flu vaccines administered compared to the same time last season.
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it is NOT too late. Flu is likely to continue to increase as we head into the winter months, and now is an important time to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Learn more about flu and flu prevention.
Adapted from shotofprevention.com
Interested in information about influenza in North Dakota? Check out current data and trends at hhs.nd.gov/flu