The flu season can be unpredictable, but getting the flu vaccination can help prevent the misery, expense and complications the flu can bring.
Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
The flu can affect 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population each year and results in billions of dollars of medical expenses and lost wages. Especially vulnerable are older people, young children and those with certain medical conditions.
Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends a yearly flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. Since infants younger than 6 months cannot receive the flu vaccination, it is critical that their family members and caregivers be vaccinated.
Be sure to ask your health care provider whether you are getting the trivalent or the quadrivalent flu vaccine. The quadrivalent vaccine contains protection against an additional “B” type of flu, in addition to the three types covered in the trivalent vaccine.
Garland’s Public Health Clinic at 206 Carver Drive has low-cost flu vaccines for children and adults, including the high-dose flu vaccine for age 65 and older, along with pneumococcal vaccines.
If you are an employer and would like to reduce winter absenteeism among your employees, you may want to consider an on-site flu vaccination clinic. Call 972-205-3370 for more information.