Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Depending on how severe the flu strains are and the number of people get vaccinated can greatly affect the number of fatalities.
Influenza is a viral disease with activity peaking in January or February that causes fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. It can be complicated by pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration, and can lead to death. The influenza virus is different from what is generally called the "flu" which refers to general stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting.
More and more people are turning to pharmacists for vaccination against this disease. Most pharmacies offer the vaccine starting in September. "Your local pharmacist is an easily accessible and convenient way to get vaccinated," according to Phyllis McKee, R.Ph., pharmacist at NuCara Pharmacy in Traer. "No appointment is needed in most pharmacies and wait times are no longer than a normal prescription."
This season's influenza vaccine contains the same strains as the 2010-11 season. They include two stains of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and one stain of B. It is available as an intramuscular shot, a nasal mist, and an intradermal shot.
Contact Phyllis McKee at NuCara Pharmacy in Traer at 319.478.8711 for more information about vaccinations and the influenza virus.