influenza

Did you know that since 2004, close to 1,500 children have died in the United States due to flu? Year after year, I hear people say “Oh, it’s just the flu” or “I’m healthy, I don’t need a flu shot.” And yet, we continue to lose innocent lives, many of whom are healthy children and adults, to this vaccine-preventable disease. I know first-hand because I lost my 5-year-old, healthy son, Joseph, to the flu. And now I’m Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu (FFF), an organization dedicated to educating people about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and...
This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday, November 21, 2016. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit www.publichealththankyouday.org for more information. It’s that time of year again – flu season is here. Unlike the common cold, influenza is a serious and highly contagious disease that tends to develop quickly. Many people think “it’s just the flu”, but sadly, the flu can lead to hospitalization and death, even in healthy individuals. As a parent who lost her healthy five-year-old son to the flu, I want everyone to understand how critically important it is for...
As flu season approaches Families Fighting Flu is working to make sure children don’t die needlessly. Influenza (the flu) is a serious disease. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized for influenza each year in the United States and 20,000 – 30,000 people die. During the 2014 – 2015 flu season alone, 146 children died from this highly contagious disease but preventable disease. As Executive Director of Families Fighting Flu (FFF), I am all-too-familiar with these statistics. Families Fighting Flu was founded in 2004 by families who lost a child to influenza; their heartbreaking stories are shared on our website . Now a trusted source of information and resources, FFF’s mission is to save...
While the annual flu vaccine saves thousands of lives every year , most people don’t give much thought to the work that takes place behind the scenes to determine what’s in that injection. The US has a system for national influenza surveillance which collects data from across the US to identify which influenza viruses are circulating, if the current season’s vaccine is a good match, and which viruses should be included in the next year’s vaccine. Preparations for next season’s flu vaccine start at the beginning of each flu season. In fact, it is the specimens collected at the beginning of each new flu season that help inform vaccine virus selection for the next year. Public health...

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