According to the CDC, flu activity continues to the U.S., with the southeast and south-central parts of the country reporting the highest levels of activity. Just last week, 2,332 patients were admitted to the hospital with flu, and there was even a pediatric death caused by flu. Overall, the CDC estimates that so far in 2022 there have been at least 880,000 cases of the flu, 6,900 hospitalizations, and 360 deaths. The hospitalization rate is the highest observed since the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of over a decade ago. The answer to combat this spike is, of course, to get your flu shot… and don’t delay.
“Please get it this afternoon. Do not linger,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center per the CNN Health article. Dr. Schaffner added that: “We’re in a bit of a race with the virus.”
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older should get their flu vaccine once a year. Also, the CDC stated that there are prescription flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the flu; those need to be started ASAP.
Of course, we would be remiss not to acknowledge that some people are skeptical about the efficacy of the flu shot. Dr. Schaffner, in the CNN Health article, admits that while vaccine is no magic bullet, it can still save your life. “We can acknowledge that the influenza vaccine is not perfect. It cannot protect absolutely everyone completely against influenza,” he said. “They help keep you out of the emergency room, the hospital, the intensive care unit, and they protect you from dying. As I used to like to tell my patients, ‘I’m so glad you’re still here to complain.’ “