SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 11, 2013

Letter: Vaccine best way to prevent the flu

To the editor:

The CDC has designated this week, Dec. 8-13, as National Influenza Vaccination Week to highlight the importance of the yearly vaccine as the single best way to prevent seasonal flu. It can also avoid doctors’ visits, missed work or school due to flu, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Although influenza activity is currently low in the United States, it is expected to increase in the coming weeks, peaking in January and beyond. Unlike the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. The young, the old, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions are at high risk for more serious flu complications. According to the CDC, each year in the United States an average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Over the past 30 years, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from 3,000 to 49,000 people. Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported five influenza-related pediatric deaths during the 2012-2013 flu season.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year. This is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association. Unfortunately, some high-risk persons such as infants under 6 months and people with immune disease are unable to receive the vaccine; they rely entirely upon others to get vaccine and therefore be unable to transmit the flu to them.

If you have already received your flu vaccine, we all thank you; if not, please do. For a free flu vaccine, contact your local board of health. Together we can all help to improve the public’s health by providing immunity to our community!

Dr. Barbara Poremba

Chairperson

Salem Board of Health

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium