Sniffle season is upon us and influenza is in the air. The modernization of medical science has allowed for a greater-evolved vaccine that, although still not perfect, packs a pretty heavy punch against the flu threats of the coming months. Current vaccinations on the market have not only shattered health myths, but are recommended by the CDC and expert MD’s. But even without such strong recommendations, the numbers don’t lie. We’ll let you decide for yourself.
The flu has killed over 500,000 people worldwide, and hospitalized 200,000 in the US.
In a study from 1976-2007, the flu killed 49,000 people in the US, and many other deaths go undocumented. the CDC also sites the danger of the initial influenza virus leading to secondary complications such as pnuemonia, leading to a greater risk of death.
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Newborns and elderly are not the only high-risk demographic.
According to the CDC, people with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney disorders, teenagers who take a lot of Aspirin, and women who are pregnant are all at higher risk for developing flu systems this season. The American College of Obstectricians and Gynecologists calls the flu vaccine “an essential element of prenatal care”, citing the benefits for both the mother and the baby in vitro.
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45% of the US population got a flu vaccine last year, 5-20% still got the flu.
And all cases could have been prevented with the vaccine. Last year in Boston, there were 700 hospitalizations and four deaths in January alone, with admittance to a hospital having a 2-day waiting period for even severe cases, because patients outnumbered beds all month long. Although many are healthy enough to resist such severe symptoms, doctors have acknowledged the unpredictability of flu season, and emphasize the fact that everyone is truly at risk. Even if your immune system is stronger than Superman’s chestplate, the virus itself has strains tougher than Kryptonite, that can live on the surface of doorknobs, keyboards, phones, railings, and other communal facilities.
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Contrary to popular belief, the vaccine cannot make you sick.
The shot itself may cause some redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site for a day or two, but the flu shot cannot give you the flu. The vaccine encourages the body to produce antibodies, which may cause some fatigue, and a low-grade fever, but this is also said to subside in a day or two, and is what makes the vaccine work. The bottom line is: regardless of minor aches and pains associated with the actual injection, these natural resilient body reactions are far less debilitating than falling ill with the influenza virus.
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Doctors are close to creating a universal influenza vaccine.
This would mean that one shot could protect people against all strains of the influenza virus. Although medical science is not there yet, the shot has developed to protect against more strains than previous vaccinations offered in the past, and all the most common strains are among those protected. Last week the CDC recommended that every person 6 months of age or older get a flu shot this season.
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