Is It Time for a New Flu Shot?

Although it still feels like summer in central Florida, fall is officially here and that means it is time to visit your Orlando internal medicine center to get your 2018-19 annual vaccination. As flu strains travel around the globe, the bug morphs each year, which means a new shot is needed at the beginning of each flu season. Even though the peak season for our area is around the new year, early immunization can provide protection for your entire family throughout our busy holiday season. In fact, the Florida Department of Health encourages all residents older than six months of age to get his or her flu shot before Oct. 31, when the celebration begins with Halloween.

Because the virus can change so quickly, last year’s flu shot probably won’t protect you from this year’s viruses. Getting an annual flu shot is a safe and effective way for members of a community to prevent the spread of a potentially deadly disease. This year’s vaccine causes your body to develop the antibodies needed to combat several new strains of the influenza virus. In turn, your body’s antibodies help protect you against the infection. The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates immunization reduces the risk of flu illness by 40% to 60% during the flu season when new viruses are circulating. Complications from the flu are most dangerous for pregnant women, very young children, people with chronic disease, and elderly individuals.

The droplets from sneezing, wheezing, and coughing spread influenza and can remain active for days on the everyday surfaces that we share at work, school, home and on-the-go. The only safeguard against an epidemic or pandemic is for everyone to get a flu shot. Soaring death rates can occur very quickly leading to an uncontrolled spread of influenza. Over the past three decades, up to 50,000 deaths have occurred each year from serious complications related to the flu. A century ago, the Spanish Flu Pandemic killed around 50 million people worldwide and some were reported to have died within hours of their first symptom. If you haven’t received your 2018-19 flu shot, stop by Delta Internal Medicine today. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Orlando at 220 E. Gore St., Suite 201, in Orlando, FL 32806.

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