The U.S. is experiencing epidemic-level flu activity, the CDC announced yesterday.
The proportion of deaths related to pneumonia and influenza reached 6.8 percent as of December 20, 2014, which is considered the epidemic threshold. This demonstrates how easily the flu spreads, however an epidemic classification is typical with most flu seasons, the Washington Post reported.
“The CDC announcement confirms that we are entering a period of increased influenza transmission,” said Nick Kelley, PhD, research associate for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “We expect to see higher levels of influenza during this time of year, with peak transmission typically occurring in January.”
Today I did something that could help safeguard my community from getting a potentially deadly infectious disease. Before you begin to think I did something heroic, I did something so simple it may surprise you (sans the title of this blog post): I got my flu shot.
Yes, it’s that simple folks. I got my flu shot. It took less than 30 seconds and the pain involved from the flu shot was far less than the pain involved in getting the actual flu.
I’ve heard many excuses or explanations as to why people choose not to get a flu shot, and many are rooted in myth, not fact. Health Talk even debunked many common flu shot myths in a blog post in 2013.
Editor’s note: this article originally appeared on the University of Minnesota Physicians web site last week.
You’ve heard them all before.
The flu vaccine can make you sick. Don’t bother getting the shot if you’re young and healthy. Pregnant women should avoid the flu vaccine.
Simply Googling the word “flu” turns up a bevy of tips and advice for staying healthy. But how do you separate the good information from the bad?
Here to help you debunk some of the common myths or misconceptions around influenza and the flu vaccine is Susan Kline, MD, who specializes in infectious diseases and serves as the infection control medical director for the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
In a recent study out of Great Britain, researchers discovered a key that might unlock a universal flu vaccine: blood.
Not just any blood, though. The researchers said the answer to what they call a universal flu vaccine may be in the blood of those who became infected with the H1N1 strain of influenza present during the 2009 influenza pandemic, but who beat the strain without getting sick.
As the weather across much of the country shifts to the breezy, cooler days of fall, many people have started to consider getting their annual flu shot. For many, the decision of when to get the shot is prompted by reminders at the workplace or from insurance providers.
But is getting the shot earlier in the season necessarily better? Or should you wait until the flu actually arrives before getting a shot, given that recent research has shown the vaccine’s effectiveness can lag after three months.