Prepare for flu season

img_5848Isabelle Bohlken, Aztec Voice

As winter approaches, there’s a good chance you’ll witness flu around.

“Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and March and can last as late as May,” the Centers for Disease Control reports.

“Some people do die from flu, about nine thousand people a year do get the complications from flu and it’s not just adults. Usually it’s the babies or the older people that get sick and die from flu,” Karen Rubio, the lead technician of the Blood Bank department of Children’s Mercy Hospital says.

According to the CDC, everyone must get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible. Children may need a flu shot and a booster shot to protect themselves from the long flu season.

Rubio believes most employers or insurance will cover your flu shot. She is required to get one or else she’s fired. The hospital offers all patients and their families flu shots for free without any documentation.

“If you’re in a job where one week of lost work time is disastrous, I’d recommend getting your flu shot. Flu shots are no guarantee you won’t get flu though,” Rubio advised.  

Most clinics will carry the flu shot. It’s very accessible this year, according to experts. The estimated price of the flu shot this year seems to be $50, but under insurance, the price is to be definitely dropped. Numbers of vaccines can be tracked on the CDC website.

“And now you can get it anywhere from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy,” Rubio added, explaining there’s no real reason to not get one other than personal preference.

“The emphasis is on reaching the underinsured and uninsured, including fast food workers. They show up for work healthy or sick, and if they show with flu, then that’s not good for public health,” said Regina Weir of the Mid America Immunization Coalition.

According to FOX 4 News, a free flu shot clinics will be held on Friday, Nov. 3, 2016, from  4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Walgreens Pharmacy, 3845 Broadway, Kansas City MO 64111 (ages 12 and up).

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