How Contagious is the Flu this Year?

flu symptoms lead woman to sneeze

Flu season is just around the corner which means that patients will want to get an updated flu shot as soon as possible. In recent years the flu virus has been extremely contagious and virulent, increasing in severity since 2016.

In any given year, the flu virus (influenza) adapts and changes in order to infect as many possible hosts. A virus can be hard to predict in terms of how impactful it is on the immune system, the length of infection, and other key factors. As the virus continues to spread across local communities it is more likely to lead to a lengthier than normal flu season.

As we’ve mentioned before on the AFC Urgent Care Denver blog, the flu shot is by far the most effective means to prevent the flu virus from infecting you. A flu shot is specially manufactured using the most recent strain of the influenza virus. The vaccine itself administers a safe mixture to help your body gradually build immunity.

However, some patients may still forgo getting a new flu shot for the 2019-2020 flu season. Medical experts don’t recommend this course of action because the flu virus is more likely to be contagious than in previous years:

Previous flu seasons have increased in vitality and spread from year to year

Healthcare organizations and experts, including the CDC, have noticed an uptick in recent flu activity. The flu has started to become increasingly more viral, infecting over 40 million patients and causing thousands of flu-related hospital stays.

Recent CDC numbers on the 2017-2018 flu season provide a snapshot of just how infectious the most recent flu season is:

  • From October 1, 2017 through April 28, 2018, 30,453 laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations were reported 
  • For the 2017-2018 season, manufacturers originally projected they would provide between 151 million and 166 million doses of injectable vaccine for the U.S. market. As of February 23, 2018, manufacturers reported having shipped approximately 155.3 million doses of flu vaccine; a record number of flu vaccine doses distributed.
  • Since October 1, 2017, CDC tested 1,147 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 2,354 influenza A(H3N2), and 1,118 influenza B viruses for resistance to antiviral medications.

As the flu became increasingly wide spread, more and more patients required flu vaccinations. Since 2018, even more patients will require flu vaccines and set more records than in previous years. The CDC also estimates that flu-related illnesses could have reached upwards of 43 million individuals in 2018-2019.

News reports also followed up on CDC investigations that suggest 2019-2020 could be a particularly bad flu season for patients. Specifically, doctors advise patients to get their flu shot ASAP! Per NBC News:

“The concern with delaying it is that some people who might have the opportunity to get vaccinated now may not have that opportunity later,” said Dr. Robert Atmar, a professor of medicine and an infectious disease expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“The most important thing is for people to get their flu vaccine, and get it before the epidemic starts,” he said.

To put it bluntly: the flu season for 2019-2020 is fast approaching and patients may need to get their flu shot as soon as possible!

Get your flu shot at AFC Urgent Care Denver Highlands!

Any patient that may need to get their flu shot as quickly as possible should make sure to visit AFC Urgent Care Denver Highlands for fast and same-day flu shots.

We severe the surrounding communities of Berkeley, Highland, West Highland, and Sunnyside and are here to provide flu shots before the peak of an especially contagious flu season! Simply visit our nearby walk-in clinic directly in order to get your flu shot on the same day.

Our Denver Highlands urgent care center is staffed with specialists that are skilled in immediate preventive care, urgent care, and other immediate healthcare needs. We can get you through the clinic and vaccinated just in time for flu season!

Flu season is upon us, and likely to come sooner than usually expected. That is why it is imperative that you understand the recent trends in flu vitality, as well as the need for a flu vaccine.

Don’t let the flu season put a damper on your fall festivities this year. Simply visit any AFC Urgent Care Denver location to get your flu shot today!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email