Flu season in the United States is not over yet, and experts advise that it's not too late to get a flu shot. This year's flu season has been more severe than last year, with the number of flu-related deaths already tripling the previous year's count. The American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and American Diabetes Association have issued a joint statement reiterating the importance of getting a flu vaccine.
Why Flu Vaccine is Important?… The flu can cause serious complications for people with chronic health conditions, making it all the more important for them to be protected against the virus. Dr. Albert Rizzo, the Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association, highlights that even a minor respiratory virus can pose a significant risk to those with lung disease, making the flu a particularly challenging threat.
He emphasizes that not only should those with chronic illnesses get vaccinated, but also their loved ones and friends. This will help slow the spread of the flu and protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Do you Know?.. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of people hospitalized for the flu have at least one underlying medical condition. These conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and COPD. These individuals are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including hospitalization and death.
Target Two in One Shot!.. Getting a flu shot is an easy and effective way to protect oneself and others from the flu. It's important to remember that while the flu shot may not prevent all cases of the flu, it can reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent severe complications. The flu shot can also help to slow the spread of the flu by reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations.
Health Advice.. Adults with cardiovascular disease face a significant risk of complications if they contract the flu, according to Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the heart association's chief medical officer for prevention. In the case of individuals with heart disease, they are six times more likely to have a heart attack within a week of infection if they are not vaccinated against the flu.
Thus, the flu vaccine is deemed to be doubly protective - against the bad flu and its complications. Health professionals recommend the flu shot for anyone 6 months of age and older, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. They also suggest that those 65 and older should ask about the flu vaccines recommended for their age and get the best available option at the time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 17,000 deaths from flu so far this season, compared to 5,000 flu deaths for the whole 2021-2022 influenza season, making it all the more important to get vaccinated.