There’s still time to get your vaccine, and it reduces your chances of being hospitalized by almost half.
The flu season is proving to take a toll this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 22 children have died from flu-related causes this year already.
In an effort to curb the transmission of more cases, CNN reports that public and private schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and West Virginia have closed for at least one day or longer because of the flu.
What strains are in circulation? Influenza B and A are both in action, which is normal. Under these umbrellas you can find H1N1 as well as H3 viruses, which are known to cause more severe damage.
Last year’s vaccine was about 40% effective, and this year’s could be about the same. Experts are unable to attain a 100% efficacy rate, as it’s a bit of a guessing game when it comes to predicting which flu strains will be the most dominant in any given flu season, at the beginning of the season.
Still, 40% is pretty good. It means that if you’re vaccinated for the flu, you will be 40% less likely to seek out medical care, should you fall ill.
And basically, you’re 40% less apt to die from it, which is great news.
Check out the CDC’s online flu finder to locate the flu shot near you.