Before the winter season brings runny noses, exhausted bodies and a greater need for naps, students and faculty are preparing to fight off the flu with vaccines.
Within that number of total deaths was the revelation that a record high 180 children died from the flu.
Every year there are needless deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and disrupted lives because of the flu. In particular, school-age children who are highly susceptible to catching the virus.
Beyond this, he added that the influenza vaccine itself is "good" but "not ideal". "I realize that it's effective, it just comes down to having a accessible and easy way to get the flu vaccine".
"Usually when a flu vaccine isn't as effective as we like it to be, it's because that virus has changed in some way".
"The more people we get immunized the safer the population is", Hellerstedt said. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop from the flu shot so it is best to receive the shot now in order to have enough time to develop immunity before we start seeing an uptick in cases in November/December. Doctors say the mist contains the live virus, but can not cause the flu.
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons.
The CDC recommends anyone older than 6 months should be vaccinated. For those who want to pay out-of-pocket for a flu vaccination, the cost is $35, or $55 for the 65-and-over high dose.
Schaffner reiterated that if anyone is on the fence about when to get a flu shot, get one "now". If you get a sore arm, swelling or fever, it is a natural reaction of the body.
He also pointed out there are secondary benefits. People with egg allergies also can be protected with a flu vaccination, the release says.
A new form of vaccine has come in the form of a nasal spray, and has been recommended for healthy, non-pregnant persons ages 2-49. Good hand washing habits are important in preventing the flu; however, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.
While a vaccination significantly reduces the chance of coming down with flu, there is no guarantee that it will prevent people from contracting the disease. "When a pregnant woman gets vaccinated, she is protecting herself as well as her future baby". Between October and May, more than 580 were admitted to ICUs for flu-related illness.
This year, marks 100 years since a deadly flu pandemic in the United States.
Elsewhere, some parts of South and Southeast Asia reported increasing flu activity, including India and Laos, both of which are reporting mainly 2009 H1N1 detections, and Thailand, which is reporting cocirculation of both influenza A viruses-H1N1 and H3N2.
"At Okt-FLU-ber Fest 2017, a total of 435 vaccines were administered", Adams said.
Nurses at Mary Lanning Healthcare say getting the shot could help not only you, but those around you.