Doctors Urge Patients to Receive Flu Vaccine
FOX 47 News
Photo: Video by fox47news.com
7.3 percent of American deaths have been attributed to influenza and pneumonia last week, according to the CDC.
Nationally, public health officials say some places are experiencing shortages in flu vaccines. Patients are having to wait on shipments to come in, but physicians are urging Americans to be persistent because the vaccine is still available.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine is 62 percent effective in preventing the flu, and it takes two weeks to work, so now is the time to get the shot.
Nearly 130 million doses have been distributed, and so far, at least 112 million have been used.
Hospitals around the country have seen spikes in flu-related admissions and deaths, compared to the last few years.
In this year's strain, the H3N2 is particularly nasty, making people sicker, longer.
Employers are doing whatever they can to keep their work force healthy, some even handing out masks and encouraging employees to wear them. Physicians caution everyone to wash their hands often, and to disinfect surfaces like computers and cell phones.
The virus is easily spread on planes and trains, and common places like escalators, ATMs, and even the handle at the gas pump.
The flu is now widespread in 47 states, according the CDC. Mississippi, California, and Hawaii are the only states not seeing a widespread outbreak.
The vaccine is designed to not only help patients who get vaccinated. It also helps overall in the community because fewer people are contagious and spreading the virus.
Some hospitals are telling all workers they must get the flu shot, and some have even lost their jobs over refusing to do so.