Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza associated deaths can range from season to season and the latest available estimates note it can be as high as 49,000 deaths in a virulent season with hospitalization rates ranging from a low of 140,000 to a high of 710,000. The majority of hospitalizations typically occur in people 65 and older.
And even though vaccination is offered early in the season, peak influenza activity can last through March, with flu viruses still active as late as May. That’s why medical experts continue to strongly recommend vaccination at this time. Anyone who has yet to be immunized should seek vaccination at their local pharmacist or health care provider as soon as possible. By getting yourself vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but also anyone you come in contact with including those at increased risk.
In fact, according to the CDC, as long as flu virus is still active and causing illness, it’s not too late to be vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for those at high risk for infection and complications of the flu which includes those 65 and older, and people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.