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 HeadlinesSilversun Pickups Summer Tour with Third Eye BlindFollowing their upcoming BottleRock Napa Valley performance, this summer, Silversun Pickups will embark on a 30-date amphitheater tour opening for Third Eye Blind. The "Summer Gods" Tour celebrates Third Eye Blind's 20th anniversary
Garland Ranch Regional Park: Tranquility in Monterey CountyCarmel Valley, California - The "granddaddy" of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Garland Ranch is a fine elder statesman of parks.
Roseville Firefighters Union Blast City's Proposed Staffing CutsRoseville, Calif. - With rising temperatures and fire season upon us, city leaders in Roseville have proposed drastic staffing cuts to the Roseville Fire Department
Oak Creek BMX Track in Roseville Receiving an UpgradeRoseville, CA - Oak Creek BMX is currently undergoing a major track rebuild that was primarily funded by a $10,000 capital improvement grant from Placer Valley Tourism
Falls Event Center in Roseville to Host Align Capital Region Orientation(Roseville, CA) Launched earlier this year, Align Capital Region (ACR) brings together people, programs, and resources to achieve greater outcomes in education, workforce development, and community vitality
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Extraordinary on the California CoastCarmel Highlands, CA - Hyatt Carmel Highlands, a century's long sentinel celebrates this year and looks to the future while standing guard at the gateway to all the grandeur that is Big Sur.
Homeowners Not MovingRealtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about one of the causes of low inventory of homes on the market and how interest rates are encouraging owners to stay in their home longer
Roseville Gas Prices Jump Higher before Memorial Day Weekend TravelRoseville, CA - Roseville area gas prices have jumped this past week pushing prices at the low prices leaders near the $2.70 per gallon mark
WJU Names New Jake McKinley as Baseball CoachROCKLIN, Calif. - Jake McKinley, who spent the last four years as a head baseball coach at Menlo College, has been named the William Jessup baseball head coach.
13 Tips to Help Prevent Skin CancerAuburn - Protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun is a simple way to help prevent the development of skin cancer.
PCWA Awards $70,000 in GrantsAUBURN, Calif. - The Placer County Water (PCWA) Agency Board of Directors awarded five grants totaling $70,345 to local public water purveyors...
Corey Harper Releases New Video, Ready for BottleRock Napa ValleyHailing from Portland, 21-year-old singer/songwriter Corey Harper premieres the music video for his new track "Favorite Part of Loving You" on Relix
NEWS: In Case You Missed It