Healthy Concerns By David McAtee, Prescott, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org Issues concerning health and preparedness in Yavapai County brought to you by the Yavapai County Community Health Services, Community Relations and Public Information Officer.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Yavapai County lost a child to the flu this week -- its first in nearly 3 years. I know that most people reading this blog will ask if the child received their flu shot? Unfortunately, I don't know. I would like to say that a flu shot would have prevented this unfortunate event, but the truth is that, they may have had their annual flu shot, and still got sick.
Most people don't like to talk about this but the flu shot is only about 60 to 70 percent effective at completely preventing the flu. So if you are still asking yourself, "why should I even bother?" The answer to that question is because deaths related to flu happen and for those who had a flu shot and still got flu symptoms they were not as sick as they would have been without the flu shot.
We don't know how many deaths are prevented each year by the flu shot but if you had the flu this year, I can bet you are wishing you had gotten the shot instead. This may be Yavapai County's first death but across the country there have already been 30 pediatric deaths associated with the flu this season alone.
With so many options for getting a flu shot and the cost being minimal, the question you should be asking yourself is "Why not get the shot?" By getting your flu shot you are helping protect those who can't protect themselves. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone can get a flu shot. There are people who are allergic to eggs (used to create the flu shot), are too young or may have a compromised immune system.
A family lost a loved one this week, which is a terrible thing, but if anything good could come out of this, let it be that it made you think about getting a flu shot, washing your hands more often, and staying home when you are sick.
It's never too late to get your flu shot, even if you have been sick this season, so why not call your doctor, ask the pharmacist or contact the Health Department today.