Causes of the Flu Essay example

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Why We Still Get the Flu

This winter, media reports of early influenza (flu) deaths in American and British children sparked a panic that is spreading throughout the United States and the world. People are currently rushing to get flu shots to try to prevent this virus, which can be temporarily debilitating and even lead to death (1). With readily available flu vaccination and medication, it is a wonder that the flu is still an extant disease. In fact, in any given year, the flu kills about 15 million people world wide, more people than are killed by AIDS, lung cancer, and heart disease combined (2). With so much modern medical technology, why is it that we are still getting the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a virus
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The United States, too, has not until recently been able to offer the flu shot to everyone. During the winters of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, the US did not have enough influenza vaccines to administer to all of its residents, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked healthy Americans to wait until those who were more vulnerable to the virus had a chance to get vaccinated (5).

Even those who are able to obtain flu shots often do not take advantage of them. For example, even though the flu triggers asthma attacks, studies suggest that only 8.9% of all people with asthma receive flu shots (6). In 2001, only 67% of people aged 65 years and over, another at-risk group, received the shot despite the fact that it is covered by Medicare (3). This flu season, even though many experts are recommending that most Americans receive a flu shot, a number of factors are preventing many people from doing so. Because the vaccine is made with hens' eggs (1), people who are allergic to eggs should not receive the flu vaccine. There are also some side effects of receiving the flu vaccination. Less than one-third of those who receive the vaccination experience soreness at the

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