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Do Most People Get The Flu At Work Or At Home?

Where Do You Contract the Flu?

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. The virus lives on hard surfaces, and it can spread through respiratory droplets in a cough or sneeze. The reality is you can get the flu anywhere, if you come into contact with a contaminated surface or a person with the flu. That’s why it’s so important to stay home when you’re sick to avoid spreading it to others.

Who’s Most at Risk for the Flu?

The following are sobering flu statistics. But they help us understand who’s most at risk and why getting a flu shot is so important to flu prevention.

  • On average, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu each year.

  • The flu causes 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year.

  • There were more than 180 pediatric deaths in the 2017-2018 flu season, the highest in five years. Approximately 80 percent of those were children who had not received a flu vaccination. 

  • About 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of the flu each year.

  • People 65 years and older accounted for approximately 58 percent of reported influenza-associated hospitalizations in the 2017-2018 flu season (the highest of any group).

  • The second group most affected by last season’s flu virus was people aged 50 to 64. 

How to Avoid Getting the Flu

Obviously, it’s important for people in high-risk groups to get a flu shot. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot for everyone age 6 months and older.

The flu shot protects you and others, and it’s easy and affordable to do at GoHealth Urgent Care.

In addition to getting a flu shot, the CDC offers these tips for how to keep from getting the flu:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, you (or your child) should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.

  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

  • If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.

Peak Times for the Flu

The 2017-2018 flu season lasted 19 weeks. Influenza-like-illness activity began to increase in November, reaching a period of high activity through January and February, and remaining elevated through the end of March.

Researchers have found that flu activity is highest in the winter months because of cold temperatures and low humidity levels, which dramatically increase transmission of the flu virus.

For this reason, it’s important to be more vigilant about flu prevention during the winter months and to get your flu shot as soon as it’s available. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies to build up in your body, so the sooner you can get a flu shot, the better.

Flu Statistics: What You Need to Know to Stay Healthy

Every year, medical professionals and scientists come together to better understand and predict the severity and effects of the upcoming flu season. But gathering flu statistics has its challenges, because flu-related information is difficult to track.

What we do know:

The 2017-2018 flu season was the first to be classified by the CDC as “high severity” across all age groups. It was also the longest-lasting flu season and the most widespread, with high rates of illness occurring across the country, rather than moving from one region to another as it has in past seasons. This “perfect storm” resulted in a record-breaking number of hospitalizations.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Flu shots are affordable and readily available, and they are the best way to ensure you don’t get sick.

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