Have you had your flu shot yet? The flu season is in full swing, and while this season has been well below epidemic levels Mississippi has still been one of the states hardest hit this year. According to the CDC, Mississippi had an influenza-like illness rate of 6.1% well above the national average of 2.3%.
The nation has experienced a mild flu season overall as of the week ending December 2, 2017. However, the disease has caused hospitalizations and casualties this year. As of this flu season, states report a total of seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths nationwide. Hospitals reported a total of 856 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations between October 1, 2017 and December 2, 2017.
Mississippi is one of the three states to have experienced high activity this year. Louisiana and South Carolina being the other unlucky two. The Mississippi State Department of Health has yet to update their website with the new numbers, but as of November 25, influenza cases were identified from the following counties: Attala (1), Bolivar (2), Covington (4), Hinds (4), Jones (1), Marion (1), Marshall (2), Neshoba (1), Pike (3), Quitman (1), Rankin (3), Wilkinson (1), and Winston (3).
During week ending with November 25, six districts (2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9) had an increase in Influenza like Illness activity. The three remaining districts (1, 3, and 5) remained about the same. Of all the districts District 7 has seen the highest percentage of reported Influenza like Illness.
Influenza is a serious disease.
It can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Serious complications from the virus include viral or bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, asthma flare-ups, heart problems, ear infections, and sinus infections. The flu can also worsen long-term medical conditions, like congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Pneumonia is the most serious complication. For older adults, children, and people with a chronic illness, pneumonia can be deadly.
Yearly flu shots are recommended by the CDC for everyone six months of age and older. Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a chronic illness. It’s especially important that children with underlying medical problems such as neuro-developmental or other disorders receive a flu vaccination.
If you have yet to receive your yearly flu shot, please call us at (662) 348-3342 to schedule an appointment. Most insurances will cover flu shots under preventive care benefits meaning a flu shot may not cost you anything.
As a final note, this article was written December 8, 2017. By the time you read it the data stated will be outdated. To keep up with what’s going on with the flu nationwide and in our state follow: