How to Get a Flu Shot in Detroit
Flu season is just around the corner and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “During the 2017–2018 influenza season there was an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and 79,400 deaths due to complications of influenza infection.
So nearly 1 million hospitalizations and close to eighty thousand deaths due to a vaccine preventable illness! This is why we advocate for getting a Flu Shot before the start of the Flu Season - we want to prevent people from going to the hospital and potentially dying from the flu aka influenza.
How Effective is the Flu Shot aka Influenza Vaccine?
The CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against flu illness. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.
So, if you get the flu shot, and the vaccine is well-matched to the circulating virus, you can reduce your risk of getting the Flu by about half - that’s great!
How Can the Flu Shot Help Me?
There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination:
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.
Flu vaccination helps prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
Flu vaccine can be life-saving in children.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
So, if you’re a parent with young children, by getting the Flu Shot, you can help protect your kids. If you’re someone with many chronic diseases like diabetes or heart failure, getting the flu shot can reduce your risk of these diseases worsening if you were to be infected with the flu.
What are Flu Symptoms? What Should I Look Out For?
Flu Symptoms have a broad range, but typically people come to the doctor with the following concerns:
Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
As a doctor treating folks with the flu, there’s something called the pajama sign - if you don’t have the energy to shower and get dressed into regular clothes, and you have some of the above symptoms, it’s more likely that you have the flu. Seriously - I’ve had people compare getting the flu to being hit by a truck - getting an illness as severe as the flu can feel like all of your energy has been taken away.
How Is the Flu Virus Spread?
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
To rephrase, someone might cough and they might have tiny droplets fly out of their mouth and land on things that you touch, like door handles, shopping cart handles, tables at a restaurant, etc… That’s why it’s so important that you wash your hands before touching your own nose and mouth and before eating. If you are sick, it’s also very important to wash your hands after coughing and sneezing. You can help lessen the spread of the flu virus by washing your hands often during cold and flu season.
For more information, visit the CDC for the most up-to-date information on the flu.
How to Get the Flu Shot in Detroit
Protect yourself and your family (and friends and co-workers) from the flu this year! To make an appointment with Dr. Raquel, head over to our scheduling link and select her as your doctor. After you submit the information, Dr. Raquel will reach out and offer appointment times.
Thank you for reading and have a great day,
-Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Raquel Orlich with Plum Health DPC