Catching the Flu Costs the American Population Millions of Dollars Each Year
October 31, 2017
According to an article released by CNBC, "there's something even scarier than Halloween ghosts and goblins lurking around the corner: The flu." The article, released under the Finance section, revealed that the annual direct cost for flu-related hospitalizations and outpatient visits was an estimated $10.4 billion. For the 2015-2016 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that the flu vaccine prevented close to 2.5 million flu-related doctor visits, and 71,000 hospitalizations. Still, for the 2015-2016 season, only 43.3 percent of adults got a flu vaccination, so if the vaccination rate had been higher, even more hospital visits could have been avoided, resulting in greater financial savings on behalf of the United States population.
While getting a flu vaccination is imperative for individuals in higher risk categories, even healthy low-risk adults are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, since it will stop the virus from spreading, should they come into contact with it. The latest flu activity map, published by CDC, shows that flu activity is minimal throughout the United States, which means there is still time for individuals to get the vaccination before the virus spreads to their community. Since the vaccination takes some time before it becomes effective, individuals are encouraged to get their vaccination sooner rather than later.
Also, thus far, early surveillance data shows that circulating viruses in the U.S. collected to date are a very close match to the current 2017-2018 influenza vaccine formulation. This is very welcome news since getting immunized with this seasons' flu vaccines should prove to be a very effective method for protection against these flu viruses.
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