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Did You Say There is Another Virus to Worry About?

The last thing we want to think about is another virus that can make us sick or cause death. But
as the weather turns colder, flu season knocks on our doors. This year more than ever, you
don’t want to let it in.

What is the flu?

The flu is short for influenza, an illness that attacks your respiratory system – all the body parts
you use to breathe.

The flu is worse than a cold. It can last up to two (2) weeks and make you really sick. You may get
some or all of these symptoms:

● Fever and chills
● Cough
● Sore throat
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Muscle and body aches
● Headache
● Feeling very tired
● Vomiting or diarrhea (more likely in children than adults).

How do I get the flu?

The flu is spread by droplets in the air from coughing, sneezing, or talking. The virus can live on
surfaces like countertops, sinks, doorknobs, and light switches for up to a day. The virus can
also live on objects like remote controls, cell phones, and computers. Touching something that
has the virus on it, then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose will likely give you the flu.
Who should get the flu vaccine?

Everyone aged 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine. It is really important to get the flu
shot if you:

● Are over age 65
● If you have a chronic health issue like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma.

As we age, our immune system weakens, so older adults are at higher risk of getting the flu.
People who already have health issues are also at higher risk. Both groups are more likely to
suffer complications from the flu, like pneumonia, that could cause hospital stays or even death.

Why should I get a flu vaccine?

The flu is a very serious illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than
35.5 million people got the flu during the 2018-2019 season, causing
● 16.5 million medical visits
● 490,600 hospital stays
● 34,200 deaths.

If you get a flu shot, you are less likely to get the flu. If you do get the flu, you won’t get as sick
from it. The shot will also protect you from complications.

I got a flu shot last year. Do I need to get one this year?

Yes, you need to get the flu vaccine each year. The virus changes, so each year a new vaccine
is made to prevent the new strain.
The vaccine is available as a shot or in a nasal spray. Ask your doctor what method is best for
you based on your health.

When should I get the flu shot?

The best time to get a flu shot is September through October. It takes about 2 weeks for you t
fully develop the antibodies needed to fight the virus, so you want to get it before the flu season

You can still get the shot in the winter or early spring, but that is when the flu season is raging, so it
might be too late. Don’t wait!

How much does the flu shot cost?

Medicare and many health insurances cover the cost of the flu vaccine at no cost to you, the member. Check with your health plan or call your doctor to find out how much, if any, that it will cost you. Of course, you can always contact us at American Exchange by calling 1.888.995.1674 or emailing

The flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The flu shot won’t stop you from getting Coronavirus (COVID-19). But if you get the vaccine, you
are less likely to go to the hospital. That means hospitals will have beds and staff ready to treat
those with Coronavirus, if it roars back.

Don’t let the flu get you this season. Get your flu shot!

American Exchange members can call us at
1.888.995.1674 or email us at for more information




Source: CDC
Specific reference for cases, visits and deaths: Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and
Deaths in the United States — 2018–2019 influenza season.