Flu Symptoms Make Americans Miss Major Life Events

About 40% of Americans have missed a major life event because of flu symptoms, according to a recent CVS survey.

About 40% of Americans have missed a major life event because of flu symptoms, according to a recent CVS survey.

The survey found that 17% of Americans have missed family gatherings, 17% have skipped get-togethers with friends, and 13% reported missing important work meetings or presentations.

More than half (58%) said they get the flu vaccine every year or plan to get vaccinated this year. The most common reasons for doing so were to avoid the flu themselves, prevent transmitting the flu to family members, and avoid missing out on an important life event.

Rupal Mansukhani, PharmD, clinical assistant professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, recently told Pharmacy Times how pharmacists can prepare for the upcoming flu season.

She suggested that pharmacists read the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on flu vaccine, which was published on August 7, 2015. She also recommended that pharmacists refer to the CDC’s immunization schedule.

“No one wants to get sick with the flu, and getting sick is even worse when it causes us to miss an important life event such as a vacation, wedding, holiday gathering, or a child’s big sporting event or recital,” said Tom Davis, RPh, vice president of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy, in a press release. “The simple fact is that getting an annual flu shot is the best protection available against catching or spreading the flu.”

Life events that would cause the most distress if missed due to flu symptoms were vacation, family gatherings, weddings, graduations, and birthday parties, according to those surveyed by CVS.

Fortunately, 92% of Americans use flu prevention tactics like washing their hands, drinking more water, taking vitamins, eating more nutritious food, sanitizing surfaces, and using hand sanitizer. But alarmingly, 67% of working Americans reported that they would go to work even if they had flu-like symptoms.

A little more than three-fourths of those aged 65 or older said they get the flu vaccine each year or plan to do so this year. All patietns older than 6 months should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available, according to the CDC.

The online survey was administered in July and involved 2024 adults.