5 flu-related deaths have been reported in Georgia
5 Flu-Related Deaths Have Already Been Reported for the 2019 Season
If you or your children haven’t made it in for an annual flu shot, you might want to think about making it a priority. Flu season is in full swing across the country, and people are already suffering from the classic flu symptoms. In addition to hundreds of reported hospitalizations, flu season has already claimed its first casualties.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first pediatric death of the 2019 season, which happened during the week of October 13, is linked to the influenza A virus. But the Florida Department of Health also reported that a child who didn't receive the flu shot died the week of October 6.
There have been flu-related deaths among adults as well: One individual over 65 years old in Connecticut, another one in California and one in Kentucky. While these casualties may pale in comparison to the record breaking 80,000 people that lost their lives due to flu-related deaths during the 2019 season, they're a reminder that flu season is here and it's no joke.
Preventionrecently spoke to Lisa Maragakis, MD, MPH, senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins Health System and associate professor of medicine for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, about the most effective way to combat the flu. And it's what most of us already know: Get your flu shot.
Despite the common misconception,theflu shot will not give you the flu. On the contrary, it could significantly reduce your risk of ending up in your doctor’s office by 40 to 60 percent. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. "That’s really so you get the shot before the flu starts circulating widely and gives your body time to react to the vaccine and build up immunity," Dr. Maragakis explains.
There are several places where you can get the flu shot for very little money or for free, including your office, your primary care doctor, drug stores such as Walgreens or CVS or even your local supermarket.
Since last season's cases peaked in late autumn—around November—and the early winter between January and February, you should consider running—not walking—to get your flu shot this week to protect yourself.
Video: Cold vs. Flu: What's The Difference?
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