Getting Flu Shot Great Investment in Your Health?
When discussing the flu, "same old-same old" means over 40,000 people will die in this country of the flu this winter.
That's as many people as will likely get killed on U.S. highways this year. It would be nice to vaccinate against getting killed in a car crash, wouldn't it?
This influenza season is a particularly severe one, if present trends hold out. Most of the deaths will occur in the very old or very young, both of which are not easily vaccinated, because they can't drive or ask for the vaccine. They depend on us able-bodied people, known as "the herd" in public health vernacular.
The herd can dramatically influence the spread of disease like influenza. Part of this herd is the workers at an institution that care for the elderly, the sick or the very young. They pass in and out of the institution every day, sometimes bringing and sometimes taking home unwanted viral baggage.
The flu depends on finding its next susceptible victim to continue its relentless winter march.
We all briefly consider getting a flu shot each winter, according to our own private equation. We consider the media headlines, our health, our experience with the flu vaccine or the flu, and weigh in the cost of the vaccine in time and money.
This may all be largely subconscious, but ultimately pushes us toward or away from the vaccination opportunities. You either stop and do it or drive by. The health care providers of the world are grinding their teeth in frustration trying to influence your decision.
Medical types like to place every illness under the microscope. The Canadians, common sense people that they are, tried a different approach, looking at flu from across the street. Their study didn't even limit itself to influenza alone; they looked at winter respiratory illness in general.
The Canadian study included everything from the mildest chest cold to pneumonia, and everything in between. Influenza was part of that group.
During the study they gave the influenza vaccine to a large group and carefully observed for any respiratory illness. A more compulsive approach would be to count only lab-proven influenza, but that was not the Canadian way. Still, they generated some very interesting results.
Those who were vaccinated had 25 percent fewer respiratory illnesses than people who weren't. The vaccinated group had 43 percent fewer sick days that winter, 44 percent fewer doctor visits, and saved almost $47 per patient.
Those are some impressive numbers and being a doctor, I very much want to do influenza antibody tests of all those Canadians. But that isn't the point. The point is there seems to be a larger spectrum of influenza than we realize. Looking at doctor visits and sick days and all of that, a flu shot has measurable benefit for most people.
So you can get vaccinated because you are trying to keep the family healthy this winter, or because it's the right thing to do. You can also get vaccinated simply because it's a good investment in your health.
Donald Bucklin, MD (Dr. B) is a Regional Medical Director for U.S. HealthWorks and has been practicing clinical occupational medicine for more than 25 years. Dr. B. works in our Scottsdale, Arizona clinic.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesWJU School Year Begins Amidst Continued GrowthROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University began its 2016-17 academic year August 22 with the largest enrollment in the university's 77-year history.
Molly Ringwald at Rocklin's Quarry Park September 17thRocklin, Calif. - Golden Globe nominated actress and jazz musician Molly Ringwald descends into Rocklin's Quarry Park Amphitheater on Saturday, September 17
Roseville to Host Barbara Boxer FarewellRoseville, CA - The Placer County Democratic Party in partnership with the Nevada County Democratic Party and El Dorado County Democratic Party will be hosting a Fond Farewell
Roseville Skatetown to Host International Curling BonspielRoseville, CA - The Crush Bonspiel, which began in 2006, is back this Labor Day Weekend at Roseville's Skatetown Ice Arena after taking a one year hiatus.
County renews $10 Million Emergency Services ContractThe county board of supervisors OK'd a $10.6 million contract for fiscal year 2016-17. The contract will provide fire and emergency service for about 52,000 residents.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (8.24.16)The Roseville Police Department's latest activity and crime log digest update covering the period of August 12-21, 2016.
Sierra College Patrons Invite Public to MeetingRocklin, CA-- The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invites the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization
California Fires Update Summary (8.24.16)Over 10,000 firefighters are battling 8 large wildfires in California. Two new large fires were reported yesterday in Tulare and Alpine counties on National Forest land.
Napa's Uptown Theatre: On LocationNapa, CA- Band of Horses trekked into Napa's Uptown Theatre last night for a stop along their "Why Are You Ok Tour".
California Fires Update Summary (8.23.16)Last week firefighters across California battled nearly 250 new wildfires containing most to a small acreage. Since the beginning of the year there have been over 4,900 wildfires that have burned over 417,000 acres.
Nevada City Hosts Festive Celebration September 10-11NEVADA CITY, Calif. - The 50th Annual Nevada City Constitution Day Parade tops a full weekend of family fun Sept. 10-11 in this colorful Gold Rush town.
Humboldt Pilot Program to Track and Trace CannabisWith the state of California on the verge of approving the recreational use of marijuana in November, at least one company is ahead of the curve
NEWS: In Case You Missed It