Thanksgiving kicks off a hectic holiday season for families across the United States. It’s not unusual for millions of people to travel between Thanksgiving and Christmas to spend with loved ones.
Experts say thousands of lives could be lost during the holiday season, which runs from Thanksgiving through the end of January, due to complications that arise during travel due to the flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 68,000 people die due to the flu each year. Experts recommend getting the flu vaccine or making sure you wear proper protection from the virus and wear a mask while sick to help reduce your chances of contracting the virus.
Measles and Mumps
The CDC recommends getting the vaccine for measles and mumps after Thanksgiving if you haven’t already done so. The vaccine does not protect against the mumps but can help reduce the severity of infection.
The CDC says people who haven’t been vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus should be cautious during the holidays as there are some who can contract the virus during these times.
The CDC also recommends that pregnant women who are at high risk or experiencing strong symptoms of flu not travel as it can make them less likely to get diagnosed and treated when they return to the United States.
The CDC notes that the virus is currently circulating in much of the United States, and could cause a major public health event if left unchecked.
According to health officials, we are in a “pandemic state” right now and it’s more likely than not the virus will spread throughout the holiday season.
The virus is currently causing more complications than previously anticipated, as it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, serious illnesses in children, and even death in some cases.
The CDC reports that in certain situations, infected individuals may be unable to produce antibodies to help fight off the disease, which is why the agency recommends getting vaccinated if you’ve been exposed to the virus.