2 weeks ago
Last year, about 80,000 Americans died from the flu and its many complications, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The deadliest season in more than four decades spanned the fall and winter of 2017 to 2018 and easily surpassed some of the more recent, severe years like the 2011-2012 season that claimed nearly 56,000 lives.
Out of the 80,000, some 180 children — a record high — died.
“One hundred and eighty kids — this really hit me hard as the father of three kids — died last year from the flu,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome M. Adams said at a Thursday conference, according to CNN. “And the majority of them were unvaccinated. Flu vaccinations save lives.”
On top of the horrific number of deaths were the 900,000 hospitalizations attributed to the flu — another record.
Last year’s flu vaccine was about 40% effective, the CDC found, meaning it lowered a person’s odds of having to seek medical care for the flu by 40%. People who become vaccinated are still somewhat susceptible to catching the virus but if they become sick, they symptoms will be much less severe — as will their risk of death.
“The vaccine is not perfect,” medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Dr. William Schaffner, told CNN. “But give the vaccine credit for softening the blow. I’m going to get my flu shot today.”Read the full story at CNN