I couldn't resist writing at least one blog during the influenza season on the flu. I find it almost amusing as to the fear that is being expressed over Ebola by those outside of health care. Yet, many of these same people who live in fear of contracting Ebola are still opposed to getting a flu shot. On average 36,000 people die each year from the flu and hospitals are inundated with hundreds of thousands of patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms usually from December through February each year.
Getting the flu is far more easier and dangerous than Ebola, at least at this point in time. Many say, "no" to a flu shot, but when asked if they would get vaccinated for Ebola, they say, "of course." Americans are funny people. According to a New Yorker article on "Ebola vs Flu," we underestimate the risk associated with common perils such as the flu, but overestimate the risk of novel or remote perils such as Ebola. Similarly, we worry about flying and subsequently dying in a plane crash yet, by driving our cars everyday, our chances of dying are almost equal to dying from the flu. There are around 30,000 car accident deaths per year in the US.
So, if you haven't yet gotten your flu shot, get one. You owe it to yourself, your family, your co-workers and if applicable, your patients. Also, your chances of becoming a statistic will be significantly reduced.