New report suggests the flu may increase the risk of a stroke by as much as 40%
WASHINGTON, DC – There’s still time to get a flu shot if you haven’t done so already, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. He warns that “it’s turning out to be a major threat to the nation’s health this year, particularly among America’s oldest and youngest populations.”
Weber cites recent Centers for Disease Control [CDC] reports that as many as seven million cases of the flu have been reported so far in the 2018-2019 flu season. The CDC says that as many as 84,000 people have been hospitalized as a result.
The University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) polled more than 1,200 participants in a survey conducted in November. They found that 41% of them had not gotten flu shots and had no intention of getting the vaccine anytime soon.
Weber says that is “an alarming result. Equally concerning is the fact that nearly a quarter of respondents over the age of 60 said they had no plans to get vaccinated.”
A news release issued by NORC noted that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed were unaware that the 2017-2018 flu season was among the worst on record. Some 900,000 people were hospitalized and 80,000 died after coming down with the flu. Most of the deaths were adults 65 and older and children.
“Unfortunately, many people are still not getting flu shots due to broader misconceptions about the value of receiving a flu shot and concerns about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” according to NORC’s Caitlin Oppenheimer.
The flu season got off to a slow start last fall, but the CDC now reports that outbreaks of the flu are at elevated levels across the country.
Meanwhile, the Science Daily Web site reported this week that “flu-like illness increased the odds of having a stroke by nearly 40 percent over the next 15 days.” The report said that the “increased risk remained up to one year.”
AMAC’s Weber urges everyone to heed the CDC’s advice and get a flu shot. “If you have any doubts, consult your doctor. Ask him or her whether it is a good idea to skip vaccination. Indeed, there are those who might be allergic to the vaccine, but the great majority of us don’t fall into that category. Too many people died last flu season. Let’s not take risks this year.”
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