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Outlasting Flu Season

Athena Breast Health

Straight Talk about
This Flu Season

Chances are, many of us have either had the flu this season or know someone who has. And unfortunately, many people who got vaccinated came down with the flu anyway.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning of several more weeks of peak level flu activity, those who choose not to get a flu shot will continue to be at risk for contracting the virus.

What you need to know

This season's intense flu activity has taken everyone by surprise, from individuals to public health organizations. The high rate of flu-related deaths, along with CDC reports showing widespread activity from all U.S regions,1 has many people feeling this year's vaccine isn't very effective. Despite this feeling, there are steps you can take to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.

California Flu Activity2 (January 21–27, 2018)

– Flu-related deaths (age 0–64) – 30
– Flu activity – all CA regions, widespread

Why get vaccinated?
Dr. Deborah Lehman, from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, advises people to reconsider their view about the flu vaccine.

"When people hear the vaccine isn't that effective, they assume there's no point in getting it – and that's very frustrating. The vaccine may not completely prevent the flu. But it does help the body launch an immune response … and it's better than no vaccine3."

And, your flu shot costs you nothing! Your Health Net Blue & Gold HMO plan covers an annual -flu shot with a $0 copayment with your doctor.

What action to take

Getting your flu shot is easy!

When will it be over?
In recent years, the CDC has advised that flu season can run through March and as late as through May. This season, experts are not guessing, only commenting that it could go on for a while longer.

This is all the more reason to do everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and protected from the flu for the remainder of the season.

The following is a select list of organizations that recommend getting a flu shot:

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Transcript for CDC Update on Widespread Flu Activity (Media Statement Friday, January 12, 2018), www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/t0112-widespread-flu-activity.html, accessed February 2, 2018.

2The California Department of Public Health, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses – Weekly Report, California Influenza Surveillance Program, Highlights (Week 4: January 21, 2018–January 27, 2018), www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/Immunization/Week2017-1804_FINALReport.pdf, accessed February 2, 2018.

3UCLA Newsroom, Health + Behavior: Everyone's talking about the flu. Here's what to do about it, http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/flu-vaccine-prevention-advice-from-physicians, accessed February 2, 2018.

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