Flu season continues throughout the United States and the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) caution that although Spring is just around the corner, the flu bug can still get worse.
Take the CDC warning seriously folks as it’s based on the most recent statistics. In fact, through February 23rd, the number of illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths were higher than in previous weeks. This indicates that the flu season can still peak. And, therefore says the CDC, you should get vaccinated, if you haven’t already.
Indeed, this years flu vaccine is doing a good job. CDC rates its effectiveness at 47 per cent. This is well within the acceptable range of 40-60 per cent. However, in senior citizens, the most vulnerable in our population, the flu vaccine effectiveness drops down to 24 per cent.
Flu Season: Seniors, Get Your Flu Shot
In spite of lower effectiveness in the seniors population, seniors should still get vaccinated. This is because older adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die from flu-related complications.
Keep in mind that the vaccine not only protects against getting the flu in the first place, but it also reduces the severity of symptoms, and the risk of hospitalization.
In addition, flu vaccination in seniors with pre-existing conditions are protected against certain complications, such as flu-related heart attacks in individuals with heart disease.
This year, so far, between 17 and 20 million people have been infected with the flu. An estimated 300,000 patients have been hospitalized for the flu so far, with the highest rate of hospitalization among senior citizens, aged 65 and older.
There have been 26,700 deaths.
Over the past 10 years, 360,000 people died of flu in the United States. The message is clear: Get Vaccinated.