From the Trussville Tribune
BIRMINGHAM — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated by the end of October.
According to the CDC, during flu season, viruses circulate at higher levels in the United States. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated, less flu spreads throughout the community.
Each year in the U.S., approximately 2.5 million flu cases result in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. One person with the flu can infect other people one day before any symptoms develop, and up to about seven days after a person becomes sick. The virus can spread to others up to six feet away, mainly by microscopic droplets expelled into the air when people cough, sneeze or even talk.
The CDC also reports all Americans receiving a flu vaccine could dramatically reduce healthcare costs, along with the number of people infected with the flu. Research found annual direct flu costs, such as hospital stays, doctor’s visits and medications, are an estimated $4.6 billion. The flu causes U.S. employees to miss approximately 17 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.
To prevent the flu:
- Get vaccinated
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Wash hands
- Stay home when you’re sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Alabamians can get a flu shot by visiting their physician or local pharmacy. For more information, go to CDC website.