There could be more suffering in store for you this flu season: People between the ages of 18 and 64 account for 60 percent of influenza-related hospitalizations as of February 8, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionÃ¢â‚¬”and flu season isn't over yet.
Researchers analyzed data on 2,319 children and adults across the country and found that only 34 percent of young adults were vaccinated by mid-NovemberÃ¢â‚¬”which may be why flu-related hospitalizations are on the rise among this age group. "For people who are of any age, vaccination is the single-most important thing you can do to protect yourself against the flu," Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the CDC, said in a recent CDC briefing.
Of course, there are other immunity-boosting remedies out there like these six foods that fight the flu. But the latest flu vaccinations available are 60 percent to 80 percent effective at preventing the virus, says David Kimberlin, M.D., president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a liaison to the CDC. "Many healthy, young adults don't really see themselves at risk of even getting the flu, much less getting really sick from it," says Kimberlin. "It's one of the biggest groups organizations like the CDC are trying to raise awareness in."
If you've already gotten a flu shot, no need to get another doseÃ¢â‚¬”one shot per year will do the trick. But if you haven't been vaccinated yet, here's the good news: You can get the shot anytime, says Kimberlin. Just be sure to ask your doctor about the best vaccine for you, especially if you have a pre-existing condition like heart disease or are pregnant.
The effects usually take about one to two weeks to kick in. You might feel some flu-like symptoms for a day, but that's a normal response, says Kimberlin. Still not convinced? Check out these common myths about the flu shot.
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