What is the Flu?
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
There is nothing worse than having the flu, and for most people it is preventable with just one shot per year. The CDC determines that 15.8% of deaths in people 18 and over in the united states have died from influenza and pneumonia. If death isn’t a good enough motivator, just think that you are not part of the majority in the united states. The CDC says that the following percentages of each age group have relieved their influenza vaccination during the past 12 months:
- Percent of children 6 months to 17 years: 45.2%
- Percent of adults 18-49 years: 26.3%
- Percent of adults 50-64 years: 42.7%
- Percent of adults 65 years and older: 66.5%
Complications from the flu include:
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Ear or sinus infections
- Worsening of chronic health conditions
Each year approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. If not being part of the majority isn’t enough reason for you, just remember that 90% of insurance companies cover flu shots at no cost to you. So not only is it good for you to get the shot, most people are doing it, and its free.
How long does it last?
Most people who get the flu feel much better within one or two weeks. Most healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop and five to seven days after symptoms appear. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be contagious for a longer period.
If free things are not enough of an incentive, than just think… you could look and feel like this guy and even require costly hospitalization.