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Worst Flu Season in Years

January 2, 2015
Plain English Version

flushotAre you wondering why you and many of the people around you are feeling ill? Flu may be the answer.

The nation is having the worst flu season since the “Swine Flu” outbreak of 2009-2010.

A medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control said, “We are already above the peak that we saw last year and it is increasing.” He says it will be several more weeks before flu infections peak and then begin to decline.

A doctor is South Carolina said, “We call it a bad flu season when 5 to 6 percent of our emergency room visits are for flulike illness. Today we are between 17 and 20 percent.”

For most people who catch the flu, it is unpleasant but not serious. However, the disease can cause as many as 40,000 deaths a year. It is more likely to be serious among older people. The flu this year is spreading widely and can cause serious illness.

CDC_Flu_Epidemic_mapHere are reasons why so many are sick. The flu season started earlier than usual. The strain of flu is stronger, making people sicker. The rate of vaccination is too low.

The current flu vaccine may not be the most effective for fighting the flu virus. Some people, hearing about the vaccine’s limited value, may have skipped it this year. However, experts say even a weak vaccine will help if more people get it. There are other flu strains circulating, too. People who do not get a current flu shot may be at risk of catching other flu varieties as well.

Conclusion: better to get a flu shot than not to get a flu shot.

Source: The New York Times December 30, 2014

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