By: Gabby Herbst
Did you know that flu cases in San Diego this year have already doubled compared to this time last year? This means that more people in San Diego are getting sick, with that number expected to rise during the holiday season. That is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the week of December 1st as National Influenza Vaccination Week. During these seven days, the CDC reminds everyone six months or older about the importance of getting their flu vaccine and encourages anyone that has not received one to do so.
What is the flu? The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. These viruses can lead to mild or severe infections, and even lead to death in more serious cases. This is why the CDC wants to inform people on the importance of getting a flu vaccine. There are four types of influenzas viruses, A, B, C, and D, with A and B being the ones that cause the flu we commonly experience. Virus C can also cause the flu in humans but usually a milder version, while virus D primarily affects animals such as cows. Virus A and virus B can be divided into many subtypes leading to a large pool of viruses’ humans can get. In the past, the flu vaccine has only protected against three viruses, H1N1 (A), H3N2 (A), and one B type virus. This year, Patronus is offering the flu vaccine that can protect you against four viruses.
What steps can I take to mitigate getting the flu? Aside from getting vaccinated, it is always recommended to practice good hand hygiene. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and make sure to keep your immune system strong by eating a balanced diet and getting lots of rest.
Why come in now if you are feeling fine? Here are some facts about the flu virus and the vaccine that might change your mind. In past flu seasons, the vaccine has reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu-like symptoms by 40-60%. The flu vaccine can also reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, from 2016-2017 over 85,000 flu related hospitalizations were prevented.
We all know during the holidays we will be crammed in with family and friends, so by getting yourself vaccinated now, you can protect the people around you who may be more susceptible to getting the flu, such as babies, children, and the elderly.
Stop by the La Jolla Patronus clinic to receive your quadrivalent flu vaccine today! You can use your HSA or FSA card to pay for your shot or we can write you a superbill to mail into your insurance for reimbursement.
CALL: (858) 324-6364