December 18th, 2019

// FLU SEASON ARRIVES IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

FLU SEASON ARRIVES IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 

Tips on How to Prevent the Flu this Holiday Season CDC Estimates 1,300 Deaths Already from the Flu this Season St. Jude/WHO Flu Scientist Dr. Richard Webby Pens Guest Op-Ed in Newsweek: “Not too Late to Get the Flu Shot”  MEMPHIS, TENN. – As holiday season approaches, Dr. Richard Webby, a member of the Infectious Diseases Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Composition Team, today offers tips on staying healthy while publishing a guest op-ed in Newsweek reminding everyone that “it is still not too late to get the flu shot.”  “With family gatherings and travel during the holiday season, the influenza virus is spreading across the country and Americans need to take precautions now to protect themselves and their family.  It is still not too late to get vaccinated and for your body to build up immunity this flu season,” warns Dr. Richard Webbya member of the Infectious Diseases Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Composition Team. “The bottom line is the flu shot is still the most valuable and life-saving public health tool in preventing and spreading the flu. In fact, this year’s flu vaccine has been reformulated and updated based last year’s shot.” Simple “Preventing the Flu” Holiday TipsGet the flu shot (it’s not too late…)Wash your hands regularlyCover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or coughStay home and rest if you are sick“Getting the flu vaccine isn’t just about protecting your health, it’s also about protecting those around you who are vulnerable like the elderly, children and those with serious health issues. The more people who get the flu shot, the less chance the virus can spread while protecting more people,” concluded Webby To Speak with Dr. Webby, please contact Michael Sheffield at michael.sheffield@stjude.org or 901-595-0221                CNN HEALTH MINUTE: FLU SEASON PEAKS EARLY   Click here to watch Dr. Webby in a CNN Health Minute offer expert advice on how to protect yourself and those around you this flu season The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that all regions of the country are experiencing elevated levels of flu activity, indicating that peak flu season is already underway. In fact, the CDC estimates that there have been 2.6 million flu illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and unfortunately 1,300 deaths, including children, already from the flu. Flu is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. In an average year, it kills about 36,000 people. But the toll can go higher, including the 2017–18 flu season included about 48.8 million flu infections in the U.S. and about 79,400 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  
# # # St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. St. Jude is ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch. 

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