Reason Last Year's Flu Season Was Deadly? Not Enough Vaccinations

AHA: Flu Season Can Send More Heart Failure Patients to Hospital

Each year in the US, the flu is estimated to cause between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths and up to 710,000 hospitalizations.

Influenza or the flu is a respiratory infection with symptoms similar to a cold but much more severe including a high fever for several days, body aches, fatigue and weakness.

Sabra Klein, PhD, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health who is leading the research effort, helped conduct studies that found females tend to develop significantly higher immune responses to the vaccine than males. Additionally, people that are allergic to the flu shot should take extra precautions when getting their shot.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported Friday that the first flu-related death happened this week. Flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children, and people older than 65.

The Hanover and District Hospital is reminding the public to roll up their sleeve and receive their flu shot. "Only the flu shot will be given".

On the other had, the injectable vaccine is made with an inactivated virus that can not cause the flu.

Last season's flu vaccine turned out to be only 40 percent effective.

The vaccine is also available to carers of older or disabled people, people with reduced immunity, those who are very overweight, residential care home residents and frontline health and social care staff. If you have questions about which flu vaccine is right for you, talk to your healthcare provider.

"Keep in mind the people that do have [allergies to the shot] should receive the flu vaccine in their doctor's office and not a drug store, that way they can be monitored for any reactions", said Kearah Cenotti, medical assistant at Kaiser Permanente Martinez Medical Center. Washing your hands frequently, containing your coughs and sneezes when in public and avoiding crowds during flu peak season are all good suggestions.

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