Flu 2011 – Influenza Update and Vaccine Info

Flu 2011

Flu 2011 - The influenza season is fast approaching and now is the time to obtain the flu vaccine per the CDC.

Flu 2011

There are signs that the 2011 Flu is near.

It’s that time of year again. FLU SEASON! And you can tell from the searches online that people are definitely nervous about this years flu. With common online searches this month being FLU SYMPTOMS 2011, FLU 2011, SYMPTOMS OF THE FLU 2011 and the best one FLU EPIDEMIC 2011, you can see kids and parents are starting the process of finding out what the symptoms are for this years influenza strain and how best to avoid it. Health officials know this and have already started this year’s campaign to curb the flu numbers.

Just a few days ago, U.S. health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their annual plea to the public to get a flu shot. As they do each year, officials also provided statistics from past years as almost a scare tactic to get people to obtain the vaccine. And to be honest the numbers are scary indeed. The CDC indicated that every year the flu causes nearly 200,000 hospital visits and anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths.

In an effort to help prevent these numbers from increasing, the CDC is urging anyone over the age of 6-months to get a flu shot every year. This is a definite change from past years when health officials were only concerned with infants and younger children, the elderly and care givers of both of these groups. The attitude has changed about the Flu and, because it’s such a costly yearly issue, recommendations have expanded to suggest just about every American obtain the Flu vaccine.

Health officials are ready too. So far this year they have distributed nearly 85 million doses of the influenza vaccine to hospitals, doctors offices, clinics, pharmacies and retail outlets across the country. A simple drive past your local Walgreens or CVS or even to the local outlet shopping center these days will confirm this as Flu Vaccine Shot signs are popping up everywhere.

At this point there are no shortages anticipated and most health officials believe the stock of flu vaccines is adequate to handle the 2011 flu season. However, their have been few outbreaks across the country at this time so the scramble to obtain the flu shot has not occurred yet. That is why the CDC is suggesting that everyone begin making preparations now to obtain the flu shot as soon as possible. As October drifts in and the cooler weather makes it’s way across the U.S. it’s nearly certain that Flu outbreak reports will begin hitting newscasts everywhere and everyone will be lining up for their vaccines. It’s best to avoid this soon-to-come rush and make appointments for your family to obtain the shots now.

In an effort to stay on top of where the flu outbreaks are occurring, the CDC has posted a very helpful map on their site (see pic below.)

2011 Flu Map

Image Copyright CDC.gov

You can find it here (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/WeeklyFluActivityMap.htm) Also, to find a flu shot or locate a flu vaccine clinic, the easiest method is to search for ‘flu vaccine’ followed by the state you live in. A quick search will provide links to your local government sites where they will list locations that are actively providing flu shots.

Also, another option is to search for “Google Flu Vaccine Finder” which Google helped develop to assist people with finding the vaccine. You can also find the Google Flu Vaccine Finder at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website at http://www.Flu.gov.  This year’s Flu 2011 version is not up just yet but check back here soon as we’ll be providing the direct link when it’s available.

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