It’s National Flu Week December 8, 2014 By Cait Hartwyk Leave a Comment National Flu Week runs from December 7 to 13, 2014, and this event works to raise awareness about the dangers of influenza and the importance of vaccines in preventing this potentially deadly disease. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get the flu, but some segments of the population are in even more danger of contracting the disease and possibly having serious complications from it than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the first and most important step in protecting against the flu, especially for these key groups, is getting a flu shot. It is estimated that flu vaccination prevents as many as 13 million cases and 5 million medical visits each year. With flu viruses constantly changing, it is very important that people receive a flu shot every year. For some, it might seem too late to start taking serious preventative measures like getting a flu shot. However, flu season starts in the fall and usually peaks in January and February, making this week in December a great time to take the plunge and get a flu shot (if you have not already). This vaccine takes about two weeks to go into full effect, so the sooner you get vaccinated, the better! According to recent CDC estimates, approximately 140 million flu doses have already been distributed. Although this is a very large number, the total US population is about 316 million people, so only 44% of the population is vaccinated. That means 56% of the population can still carry and spread the flu virus. More than anything, National Flu Week is about awareness and protection. First and foremost, do your part and get vaccinated so that you are able to protect yourself and those around you! If you are already vaccinated against the flu, spread the word via social media and consider taking part in the various flu-related activities that will be taking place throughout the week. Be sure to check the CDC’s National Flu Week Activities website to see what might be going on in your area to help raise influenza awareness. We’d also like to hear from you! How do you plan on raising flu awareness during National Flu Week? Feel free to comment below or on our Facebook page.