National Influenza Vaccination Week (IVW), hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights the importance of getting an influenza vaccination every year. Seasonal influenza, often referred to simply as “the flu,” associated with approximately 200,000 hospital admissions and as many as 49,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the CDC. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
The flu is caused by influenza viruses, which target respiratory areas such as the nose, throat, and lungs. This virus can cause severe illness and even life-threatening complications. In the United States, an estimated 5 to 15 percent of the population is affected by the virus each year. The flu can live on surfaces between two to eight hours.
There is still time to get your flu shot. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized. Flu activity usually peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.