As the holiday season approaches, the Michigan State Medical Society, led by Dr. M. Salim Siddiqui, is sending a clear message to Michigan residents: arm yourselves against the flu by getting your flu shot before holiday gatherings.
While current flu caseloads across the state are relatively low, increased indoor socialization raises the likelihood of a surge in flu activity.
Dr. Siddiqui emphasizes, “It’s typical to see a spike in flu cases during the holidays when people gather in large groups. Influenza is highly contagious, and the presence of just one carrier at your Thanksgiving table can easily infect the whole group.”
The reassuring news is that flu vaccines are widely accessible, with ample time to secure immunity before the holiday festivities. Dr. Siddiqui notes, “By taking prompt action, we can curb the expected rise in flu cases during the holiday season. Let’s make this season about celebration, not flu devastation.”
Of particular concern are vulnerable demographics, such as the elderly and young children, who can experience severe complications and adverse effects from the flu. Tragically, one pediatric flu-related death has already been reported this season, according to the CDC. Last year, 182 U.S. children succumbed to fatal flu infections.
Michigan is falling extremely behind its goal to have 4 million residents get the flu vaccine this season, as per the state’s dashboard. Currently, only 1.9 million residents have received the vaccine – 13 percent less than compared to this time last year.
Dr. Siddiqui concludes, “Our collective defense against the flu begins with our individual action. Let’s not fall short in protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. Getting vaccinated is a simple yet powerful step towards ensuring a healthy, blessed, and joyous holiday season.”