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It's never too late fo a flu shot

Jim Bargen, Chief Operating Officer at BBGH receives his flu shot from Cassidy Hoffmann, RN BSN BBGH Occupational Health Nurse

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays bring the community closer together but illnesses like the flu ruin the cheer and keep families apart. Cases of the flu are increasing in Nebraska. As of December 17th, 230 individuals have been hospitalized statewide and two deaths have been reported according to Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

How does this affect you? Getting vaccinated prevents the spread of illnesses and lets our community have a healthier holiday season. Mary Mockerman, Chief Quality Officer at Box Butte General Hospital clarifies what the flu shot does and how self-care assists in  personal health,  “The flu shot protects against influenza; a respiratory viral illness causing cough, fever, body aches and headache. It does not protect against viruses that cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach upset. The flu shot is one of several tools that can help you stay healthy during the holidays and winter season. Adequate rest, exercise, frequent hand hygiene, and making time to enjoy outdoor fun all help you stay healthy.”

According to AARP, more than 12,000 people died during last year's flu season from the illness. The group hardest hit by seasonal flu are seniors. Yet only about 60% of seniors in the U.S. have gotten a flu shot this season and most of those had done so before the end of November, which follows the trend reported by the CDC that fewer people traditionally get flu shots past November. Some reasons people give for not getting a flu shot vaccine include;  they think it's too late, they believe they are too old, or they have a medical condition prohibiting them from receiving a potentially lifesaving vaccine. The CDC says different flu vaccines are designed for people older than 65, and considerations can be taken regarding individual health conditions.

It isn't too late to get a flu shot. The flu season can continue until late April and generally starts providing protection two weeks after inoculation. We encourage those still in need of a flu shot to speak with their provider about getting vaccinated as soon as possible. Lori Mazanec, CEO of Box Butte General Hospital reminds, “As BBGH strives to promote community wellness, so is the importance of getting your flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming seriously ill.”  Getting a flu shot doesn’t just protect you; it also protects those in our community who are unable to receive the flu shot due to medical conditions. Community immunity protects us all.

Check the box on keeping you and your family safe from the flu.

Let wellness be a goal for 2019 you start today.

Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.