It’s fall. Fall not only brings beautiful colorful Colorado leaves, but it also brings cooler temperatures.
And even more so, fall means the flu season is upon us. Last year’s flu season was the worst on record. According to the CDC, 2017-2018 was classified as a high severity season with high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illness, high influenza-related hospitalization rates, and widespread influenza activity across the United States for an extended period. The CDC estimates the flu caused between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually in the U.S. since 2010. While estimates for last season won’t be available until later in the fall, it’s likely that last season was record-breaking across both of these key indicators used to track severity. It’s not possible to predict how severe the upcoming season will be, but we know that the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is a flu vaccine.
Flu viruses make you feel like every part of your body is sick, but infect nose, throat, and lungs and can cause a wide range of complications. Sinus and ear infections, as well as in moderate to severe cases pneumonia are examples of moderate complications from flu.
Flu virus infections can also cause serious complications like inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu can also trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. The U.S. experienced high rates of hospitalization and severe disease during the past seven flu seasons.
Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also helps protect the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. Make an appointment today to get your flu vaccination before the flu season is in full swing.