What You Need to Know About This Year’s Flu Virus

It’s official, per the CDC: the 2014-2015 flu virus is so widespread that it’s considered an epidemic.

If you aren’t taking this year’s flu virus seriously yet, then you probably aren’t aware of the facts we’ve gathered below. Read on and see why protecting yourself and your family against the flu virus should be a top priority.

2014-2015 Flu Virus: the 411 on This Season

The Flu Virus is Widespread in 43 States & CountingSneezing

According to recent numbers from the CDC, this year’s flu virus is running rampant in 43 states, including Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Six states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Maine, Nevada, and Oregon) are reporting regional flu virus activity, which could escalate to widespread activity.

Flu-Related Deaths are Rising

Think the flu isn’t so tough to fight off? This may be true for healthy adults under age 65, but for seniors, children, and immune-compromised individuals, the flu virus is difficult to shake — and it can lead to hospitalizations or even death.

From December 21-27 alone, 6 pediatric deaths connected to the flu virus were reported to the CDC. Overall, the current flu virus has lead to 21 deaths in 11 states.

Hospitalizations are up, too; more than 3000 lab-confirmed cases of the flu virus have been reported, with highest rates among seniors (51.8 per 100,000) and children 0-4 years old (16.5 per 100,000). And outpatient health visits due to flu-related illnesses have risen to 5.9%, well above the national baseline of 2.0%.

The Flu Shot is Still Your Best Protection

Even though one strand of this year’s flu virus has mutated, making the flu shot less effective than normal, the vaccine is still one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. When combined with preventative measures like hand-washing, avoiding sick people, and staying home when you feel under the weather, this year’s flu shot can help you avoid the flu virus, or at least mitigate its effects.

It’s not too late to protect yourself against the flu virus with a shot. Find your nearest wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs today and walk in to get vaccinated!

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