Helping Patients Prepare for Flu Season

Alicia Farmer
December 9, 2018

While flu - or influenza - is most serious for older Americans and people with certain chronic conditions, influenza can affect people of all ages and lead to hospitalizations, significant health complications and even death. The highest rates of hospitalization were among adults 65 or older and children younger than 4; both age groups saw slightly more than 3 flu-related hospitalizations per 100,000 people. Others, though a significantly smaller percentage, simply do not have time to get vaccinated, while others find the vaccine too expensive.

These methods are set in place to protect the most vulnerable, who tend to be the very young, the very old and those with compromised health situations.

The CDC says Louisiana is among the states with the highest levels of flu activity so far this season. "The absolute best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is to get vaccinated".

"Each year, the flu vaccine must be reformulated to ensure it is effective". What should they say to those who have fears that the shot will give them the flu? If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, are very sick or anxious about your illness, contact your health care provider.

Col. Tammy K. Mayer, Consultant for Army Public Health Nursing and Health Promotion for the U.S. Army Surgeon General said, "The more that the community knows about flu prevention the better".

Serious reactions to the flu vaccine are rare. Furthermore, the vaccine's side effects are minor, and it does not cause the flu, as is believed by 31 percent of those who are not planning to get the flu vaccine. However, 41 percent of adults reported that they have not yet been vaccinated and that they have no intentions of getting vaccinated either.

Fact: The flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting and spreading the disease by up to 60 percent, according to the CDC.

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"We recommend that all residents, who have not yet received a flu shot, do so now either through their physician, a local pharmacy or at a clinic".

Vaccinations are a significant achievement in the advancement of public health, aiding in diminishing the detrimental effects induced by harmful pathogens.

Correcting misinformation about the flu vaccines is hard, and the academic literature provides mixed signals about approaches to tackling this problem.

What about those who say that they've gotten the flu shot in the past and still gotten the flu?

Flu vaccines are not 100% effective, and sometimes the strain of flu circulating is not a flawless match for the flu strains in the flu vaccine.

How well the influenza vaccine works (or its ability to prevent influenza illness) can range widely from season to season.

As many people turn to the Internet for health information, it is critical to recognize that user-generated content from anti-vaccine supporters directly impact patient medical decisions. They have a wealth of resources for nurses and patients on their website.

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