Flu may sound harmless, but it kills thousands of people every year. Seniors, people with weakened immune system and small children are in the high risk category. However, getting vaccinated and maintaining hygiene can protect you from flu and its debilitating effects.
Getting Vaccinated Against Flu
Getting a flu shot or taking a nasal spray helps protect against the virus that is responsible for causing flu, or influenza. If a person takes the vaccine, there is no risk of getting flu, but can get mild reaction, such as headache and fever.
The Price of Getting Flu
An average American, who has health insurance, may end up spending $130 more when he is struck by flu, while Americans who do not have health insurance end up paying $100 to visit a doctor, who will prescribe a flu medication like Tamiflu, which has no generic and costs about $100 for a course of 10 days. Businesses lose $16.3 billion every year on account of flu.
Flu is contagious for one day before the start of the symptoms and then for 7 days after the symptoms manifest. Symptoms include headache, fever, sore throat, body ache, cough, stuffy or runny nose, exhaustion, vomiting and/or diarrhea. According to the CDC around 3,000 to 49,000 people die every year because of flu. Getting vaccinated against flu can minimize the risk of getting the viral infection.
How to Prevent Flu
Vaccination can protect against the virus that causes flu. However, basic hygiene, such as washing hands and using a hand sanitizer can also help besides eating healthy and doing regular exercise which helps to boost the immune system. Estimates suggest that 20 percent of Americans get flu.
What it Costs to Get Flu
Every year, 15 percent of people across the world get struck down by flu. In the US, an average person with health insurance can expect to spend about $130, which includes a visit to the doctor and buying over-the-counter and prescription medications. People, who do not have insurance, have to pay a lot more, as prescription medication alone costs about $100. It is believed that 1/3rd of people getting flu end up spending between $250 and $1,000. The CDC estimates that every year, it costs $10.4 billion on direct medical costs and businesses lose about $16.3 billion because of flu.
Tips to Avoid Getting Flu
Wash hands 8 times a day, with three times before meals, 4 times after using the toilet and 1 time after doing gardening, petting a dog or touching anything that is dirty. In addition, do not touch your face with your hands. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Avoid contact with a person suffering from flu. Make sure young children at home are vaccinated against flu. And, if you still end up getting sick, stay at home to avoid spreading the infection.
Myths about Flu
Many people believe that flu is harmless. On the contrary, 49,000 people die due to flu every year. There are others who believe that flu is dangerous just for seniors. This is also not true. 90 percent of people who died due to H1N1 were under 65 years of age. Also vaccines against flu are not dangerous. They reduce the risk of dying by up to 70 percent.
Flu in the Office
67 percent people have admitted that they still go to office even when they are sick. An average desk in an office has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. To prevent spreading germs in office, wash hands for 20 seconds using warm water and soap.
How Flu Affects the World
In 1918, when the Spanish flu broke out, it killed 100 million people across the world. The Asian flu outbreak occurred in 1957 and it killed 2 million people throughout the world. The Hong Kong flu of 1969 killed 1 million; while the H1N1 in 2009 was responsible for 20,000 deaths across the world.
Colds and Flus Stopping You? Why?
40 percent of offices are covered with flu viruses. Did you know that an average computer mouse is 3 times dirtier than a toilet seat? Or, men’s offices tend to have more bacteria than women’s offices? A person can get about 200 colds in his lifetime.
Getting the Elderly Vaccinated Against Flu
The US has 40 million seniors and it is a must to get them vaccinated against flu. When a person ages, his immune system weakens, making the person more susceptible to infections. Did you know that 9 out of 10 deaths caused due to flu occur amongst seniors aged more than 65? Every year in the U.S., between 2,700 and 44,100 seniors die due to flu.
Does a Person Need Flu Vaccination?
200,000 people end up getting hospitalized in the U.S. because of flu. Every year 49,000 people die because of flu and studies have shown that 90 percent of vaccinations can protect you against flu. So you should get vaccinated against flu to reduce the risk of mortality or hospitalization.