Fall is the Season to Prepare for Winter
November means pumpkins, delicious North Carolina apples, mums, fall trips to the mountains, fire pits with friends, a slight nip to the morning air and FLU VACCINATIONS!
Last year’s media coverage of the flu season and personal experience resulted in many people believing that there is no reason to get a flu shot. Many who got the vaccine still ended up with the flu. The 2017-18 influenza season was the deadliest in the last 4 decades, with approximately 80,000 deaths, including 180 pediatric deaths and over 900,000 influenza related hospitalizations.
In North Carolina, there were 389 deaths attributed to influenza. After all the statistics were compiled, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the effectiveness of last year’s vaccine was 40%. This means that persons who received the vaccine were 40% less likely to require hospitalization, or less likely to die from the flu. The CDC reports that this year’s flu vaccines have been updated to better match the circulating flu viruses.
Do not be discouraged and give up on getting an influenza vaccination. A flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also helps protect the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older.
Children younger than five years old and adults 65 years old or older, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions are all at increased risk of severe illness or complications from the flu.
You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community!
Influenza vaccines are available from your medical provider, local health department and many pharmacies. Most health insurance plans cover influenza vaccinations as preventive care. Make a date with your spouse, a loved one or friend to get a flu shot this month!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov
NC Dep. of Health and Human Services, www.flu.nc.gov
PUMPKIN PACKS A NUTRITIONAL PUNCH
Enjoy the versatility, flavor and nutritional benefits of pumpkin. Often the star ingredient in many sweet delights such as pie and custard, pumpkin can also make a savory side dish. Pumpkin seeds are tasty and nutritious. Don’t throw away your carvings; instead, roast and enjoy! When you enjoy pumpkin, count on getting a good supply of beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, iron, potassium, and other nutrients.
Sources: HealthFitness Dietitian