November is here, which means flu season is rapidly approaching. It is once again the time of year to protect yourself and your family from the debilitating illness known as the flu. Coming down with a case of the flu can be very challenging, or in some cases even potentially dangerous. This is especially true for children and the elderly who have weaker immune systems and may be more vulnerable to the virus. Since flu germs travel freely through the air, it may be impossible to completely avoid contact with them. But there are proven and effective measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from feeling the impact of flu season, most notably receiving an annual flu vaccination.
Keeping up with your immunizations is the safest way to prevent yourself from dealing with the flu. In addition to protecting the patient from the flu, flu shots contribute to stopping the spread of the virus by cutting down on the number of contagious people in any given area. By reducing the number of people affected by the flu, flu vaccinations also drastically reduce the number of visits to the doctor and hospital stays required during flu season. Earlier this year, a study published in the journal Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccinations also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 71% – 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older, making immunizations that much more important for elderly patients.
The CDC reported that just 45% of American adults received a flu shot last year. This low number is partially due to the perception that if you don’t get immunized by the end of October, then it’s too late. However, the healthcare providers at Abraham Family Medicine believe that November is a great time to get a flu shot to prepare for the upcoming flu season.
Due to the constantly changing nature of the virus and its many strands, it’s not possible to predict what the upcoming flu season will bring. That’s why every flu season offers a new challenge for public health experts. The timing, severity, and length of flu season vary considerably from year to year. However, one thing that stays consistent from one year to another is the knowledge that the fall season is the perfect time to get a flu shot. Because the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to fully enter the patient’s system after receiving the shot, it’s important to stay ahead of the virus. The peak of flu activity typically occurs between December and March, so getting vaccinated in November should leave plenty of time to fully protect yourself from the flu before the season really takes hold.
The flu can be a frightening proposition, but thanks to immunizations, it is easier than ever to help ensure the health and safety of yourself and your family all throughout flu season. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your flu immunization, please contact Abraham Family Medicine today. Our office is located in Snellville, not far from Grayson.