Public health can be so hard. Obesity, alcoholism, narcotic abuse–each a difficult and terrible scourge on our society. Zika virus causing birth defects is a growing concern.
What do we as a nation do? How do we design programs to address these issues? How much money do we spend and where do we spend it? Governments, businesses, academics, and nonprofits all devote great energies to try and solve these problems. I’m proud that my own daughter received a Masters degree in the field and is devoting her professional life to the public health fight against cancer.
Each year from October through April anywhere from 5-20% of the US population contracts influenza; hospitalization rates are 34/100,000 population (14/100,000 ages 0-4). The number of deaths is somewhat controversial (it depends on how the treating doctor classifies the terminal illnesses) but estimates range around 36,000 annually. In 2016 there were 20 pediatric deaths but as recently as ’09 358 children died of flu. The flu costs the US economy $87 billion annually PLUS $16.3 billion in lost earnings. Flu shots prevent approximately 48% of flu caused doctor visits annually, yet only 46% of Americans are immunized for influenza each year.
So, sometimes public health isn’t so difficult and is, in fact, quite straightforward. Get your family immunized for influenza. I have covered this topic previously and I invite you to review the information from those posts here and here.
Our flu shots are in. Please give my office a call and schedule your children to be immunized. This will benefit your entire family–especially your own parents and grandparents–as well as your friends, neighbors, and our entire community.
Call me with questions and thanks for following.