AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza
Every year 200,000 people seek medical treatment and 36,000 people die from the flu.
Although there is still considerable debate regarding the safety and effectiveness of the current version of the H1N1 vaccine, the seasonal flu shot still proves to reduce the chances of contracting seasonal flu.
There are various strains of ever-evolving seasonal influenza making it is possible to contract the flu even if you have been vaccinated, however, those who receive the seasonal flu vaccine and still contract the flu report milder symptoms and a shorter duration of the illness.
The high-risk age groups for seasonal flu are children 6 months to 18 years and adults age 50 and older.
H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu)
The H1N1 virus was originally referred to as swine flu because many of the genes in the virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new influenza A (H1N1) appears to be as contagious as seasonal influenza, and is spreading fast particularly among young people (from ages 10 to 45). This is a different age demographics than seasonal flu – making everyone susceptible to influenza this year.
Prevent the spread
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. If you are without a tissue, avoid contaminating your hands by sneezing or coughing into the inside crook of your elbow.
- Properly and frequently, wash your hands with hot soapy water.
- Keep your home and workspaces clean with frequent cleaning with alcohol or bleach based cleaners.
- Stay away from sick people as much as possible. Send a card or email, but do not visit in person.
- Keep your hands out of your eyes, nose and mouth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect you and your family from H1N1.
Select Walgreens Take Care Clinics are now offering seasonal flu shots for just $24.99 and H1N1 shots for $18. To find a Walgreens Take Care Clinic location near you, click here and enter your zip code. Look for this notice on the Walgreens location you select: Walgreens now offers the H1N1 vaccine at this location. Please contact the store to confirm vaccination dates and hours.
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