Flu Outbreak hits states hard
Flu spreads quickly in all states
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report this morning that the recent outbreak in flu activity is now considered widespread. Some cities have gone as far as to declare the recent outbreak a public health emergency.
Right now the CDC claims that 24 states are experiencing high activity and 16 states are experiencing moderate activity, and the remaining states such as Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Idaho and Alaska are reporting low flu activity. Some school districts also canceled school. ABC News reports that one Oklahoma school district cancelled classes after a quarter of the student body had been sickened with the virus.
According to the CDC, 128 million doses of the flu vaccine have been administered this month. Unfortunately, this is almost 95 percent of the estimated 135 million does that flu vaccine manufactures had planned to produce this month. The flu shot is recommended for any person in a high risk group, except those who are allergic to eggs or who have had GuillainBarré Syndrome. It has also been reported that the current flu vaccine is effective 62% of the time.
The report also indicates that since October 1, 3,710 people have been hospitalized and visits to the doctor were 4.3 percent higher than normal. Twenty children have died this flu season.
The CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine, arguing that not only does it reduce your chances of catching the flu, but it protects your family economically by limiting the loss of money many families may experience if the wage earner in a family misses work.
Who need a flu shot?
Although doctors have made a push to get their patients vaccinated, it is estimated that up to 64.8% of adults do not get a flu immunization and only 36.5% of all Americans were vaccinated last year. This is interesting since over 95% of children are vaccinated each year against mumps, measles and rubella before they enter kindergarten.
There are a variety of reasons for the low vaccination rate, but medical experts contend it is most likely because kids are not required to get the vaccination before attending school and the efficacy rate is lower than the immunization for other diseases. This is because the flu virus mutates and the shot, if it protects you at all, is only likely to protect you through one flu season.
There are two factors that developers have found will increase immunizations: a higher infection rate and lower cost per vaccination. Whether or not an individual feels that a vaccination is necessary will, therefore, depend on how high they believe their chances are of contracting the flu and how inexpensive it is.
So how do you know if you have the flu? Symptoms can include sore throat, cough, runny nose, fatigue and fever. The good news is that most healthy people that get the flu will recover within a couple of weeks, but complications for the elderly, pregnant, and young are common. Complications can also arise for immune compromised individuals including infection, pneumonia and bronchitis.