The Center for Disease Control estimates that in the 2015-2016 season, 710,000 people were hospitalized for influenza A (influenza). That's a lot of misery and costs and time wasted unnecessarily. Flu shots would probably have prevented these hospitalizations and the millions of other influenza cases that suffered at home.

"Seasonal influenza remains the leading cause of death for infectious diseases in the United States," said David Blodgett, MD, director and health officer of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. "The flu is the main cause of lost work, economic loss, school leave and make-up work."

Get the facts, not the flu

Flu vaccinations (shots) are usually available during early autumn through to winter. The vaccine changes annually, so a flu shot should be done annually for the best protection. Influenza vaccine is very safe and the most effective way to prevent or reduce the severity of an influenza infection.

"Do not get a flu shot too soon," warned Blodgett. "Influenza given in July or August may not be effective in the entire flu season, but it is never too late for a flu shot, flu attacks occur throughout the winter, and mid to late September is usually the best time for a flu shot. "

Get a hint, fight the flu.

The flu is very contagious. It can be transmitted to others who are up to six feet away from an infected person who sneezes, coughs or just speaks – even before they show symptoms. Washing your hands during the flu season. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover coughs and sneezes. And most of all, stay at home when you are sick so as not to infect others, especially those most susceptible to the flu.

"The populations most at risk of flu complications and hospitalizations are those over 65 who are very young and those who are immunocompromised," said Blodgett. "Infants under 6 months of age can not receive the vaccine, but you are never too old to receive a flu shot High-dose shots that promote a better immune response are available for the 50-65 age group An even higher dose is for people over 65 years available. "

The shot for the flu is not just about you

Some people can not get a flu shot. People with life-threatening allergies to vaccines or their ingredients, people with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and newborns under six months can not receive a flu vaccine. These people have to rely on the herd immunity, or the idea that most people get a flu vaccine and thus protect the entire population.

"Most people who have ever had seasonal flu are making extra efforts every year to get a flu shot," said Blodgett. "It's really so bad Symptoms include high fever, body aches and sudden onset … If you're not worried about blowing yourself up in the air, get a shot for those whose lives may depend on you taking them not common. "

The flu ends with U

"The only best way to prevent the flu and spread the disease is an annual flu shot," said Blodgett. "It's absolutely the best and most effective way to avoid the flu."

Do not you want to be ill? Get a quick flu shot!

Flu vaccines will be available on September 15 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on the second floor of the Dixie Regional Medical Center at the annual LiVe Well Health Fair. Fees may apply. Free with most insurance companies. Other health examinations and services will also be available. Guided tours of the new extended hospital will also be offered from Saturday 10am to 7pm.

Do not catch yourself without a shot

The Southwest Utah Department of Health is hosting its annual flu shoot-out on Tuesday, September 25, at the Red Cliffs Mall in St. George. 8:00 to 13:00: Drive-in (from 18 years) in the parking lot. 12:00 to 17:00: Walk-in (families and all ages) in the mall. $ 20. No costs with proof of most insurance. Save time – download, print, fill out and bring a consent form @

This LiVe Well column represents the collaboration between medical professionals from the medical staff at our non-profit Intermountain Healthcare hospitals and The Spectrum & Daily News.

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