What You Need to Know About the 2015-2016 Flu Season

The flu season in the United States typically begins as early as October and can last into May. The CDC says that flu season officially starts when key flu indicators first occur and then increase and remain high for a period of time. Key flu indicators can include flu-like illnesses, hospitalization, and deaths due to the flu. The peak of flu season typically occurs between December and February each year. This year, the flu has been slow to hit.

A Slow Start to the Flu Season

Overall flu activity has been relatively low in the U.S. While the flu season typically runs from October to May, overall seasonal flu activity has increased only slightly since October. However, this is not necessarily an indicator of how the rest of the season will turn out, meaning that individuals should continue to be wary of flu infection. Each year in the U.S., anywhere from 5 to 20% of the population gets the flu. The virus causes about 200,000 hospitalizations each year and kills around 36,000 people, according to the CDC.

Protecting Yourself with the Flue Vaccine

The CDC recommends that individuals older than six months old get a yearly flu shot, as this is the first step in warding off the virus. Although it is best to get the flu shot as early as possible, it is not too late to get the flu shot as long as the flu season lasts. It is still possible to get strains of the flu not protected against in the vaccine, but the vaccine protects individuals from the most common strains. Young children, older adults, and individuals with medical conditions are the most likely to be hospitalized or experience serious complications as a result of the flu. If you do get the flu, antiviral drugs are available through a doctor’s prescription to treat the illness.

Get Your Flu Shot Today

ARCpoint Labs provides flu vaccinations nationwide. Visit our website to find your nearest location.

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