As many know, this flu season has been one of the worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, with an estimated 34 million Americans who got the flu or currently have it.
Teenagers, children, adults have all been hit by the new flu strains and it has been cause for great worry all over the United States.
Flu strains such as the Hong Kong flu have even resurfaced as a new prevalent strain, as it is cited as being the strain in eighty percent of patients from the Department of State Health Services who work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that despite people claiming the vaccination is not effective enough, that everyone, especially children, get vaccinations.
They also warn heavily against using the nasal spray as they are cited as being even less effective than any shots.
Recommendations also include giving two shots for children and infants, washing hands, and staying away from any sick people. This includes that people afflicted with the flu stay home until they have fully recovered.
Even so, studies show that less and less people have been getting their vaccinations, this mostly concerning young adults. Oftentimes, they reason that they do not want to spend money on a vaccine that has low or little protection against the flu.
While flu vaccine efficiency data has not yet been released, it is estimated to only be thirty percent effective. This number low percentage coupled with a common fear of needles and money constraints is what steers people away from getting their shots.
Despite this, doctors still recommend getting a shot because a thirty percent efficiency could save people an expensive trip to the hospital, or even keep a child from dying.
Even for those who get the flu despite having been vaccinated, their symptoms are often much more mild and they recover more quickly.
However, the increasing deaths are also a major concern, and this is what is causing advocacy of flu shots, as so far at least thirty-seven children have died from the flu as of January 26.
There is also the deaths of thousands of adults, such as Texas where the death count has risen to 2,300 and is expected to only increase.
This is not confined to just the United States. Globally, people are also greatly affected by influenza, especially those in third world countries.
Around the world, deaths between 291,000 and 646,000 are due to the flu, this affecting older adults from poor countries the most.
Many doctors still assure people that if vaccinations are given to those who experienced flu-like symptoms within 48 hours, the risk of complications and hospitalization decrease dramatically and can help greatly, even if the efficiency is low.
Although, there are ways to protect against the flu, or to try to prevent them. These ways include: Keeping a humidifier to fight against dry air, washing hands often or using hand sanitizer, and avoid touching the eyes or nose.
If someone has the flu, though, it is recommended to rest and stay hydrated and take medication such as ibuprofen for fever or headaches. People should go to doctors for antiviral medications if they are 65 or above, have a compromised immune system, or if they are obese.
This antiviral medication can be extremely helpful in shortening the length of the flu, but only within 48 hours of symptoms.
This encouragement of flu vaccinations concerns around hoping to lessen the deaths, and amount of hospitalizations, along with many guides on how to prevent the flu as much as possible and how to help those who have contracted the flu.