Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

October 16, 2018

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, you have urged us to get our flu shots this month.  Well, I did that last year, and I still got the flu! Why should I bother to go stand in line again?

A:  Consider yourself lucky:  You likely had a milder case of the flu than if you had 2 Nurses with sign-Get your flu shotnot gotten the shot. Obviously, you survived…unlike an estimated 80,000 Americans who were not so lucky last year.  At least 180 of those fatalities were children (80% of whom had not gotten their flu shots).  More than 12,000 Americans age 65 and older died from the flu last year.  The very young and those of us at a certain age are the most vulnerable, and the more people who get the protective flu shots, the better our chances of surviving another year.

Jeff Garberson put it very well in his article in the October 11 Independent newspaper: “Like automotive seatbelts, which reduce both injuries and fatalities on the road, flu vaccinations prevent many cases of flu and make other less severe.

“Unlike seatbelts, however, flu shots also protect people around us, medical experts say.  By blocking influenza’s spread, they also make it less likely that we will infect loved ones and neighbors, grandchildren and elderly parents.”

Isn’t that enough to make standing in line for a flu shot worth your time?  Cases of the flu already have been seen at the Stanford-Valley Care Medical Center in Pleasanton.

Jake Scott and infectious disease physician with Stanford-ValleyCare Medical Center advised that we all follow the “3 C’s” for slowing the flu’s spread:

  • CONTAIN the disease by staying home if you have flu symptoms (fever, aching joints, dry cough);
  • COVER coughs and sneezes with your (inner) elbow and sleeve, not with your hands; and
  • “CLEAN hands by washing with soap and using alcohol gel.”


Most important, though, is getting a flu shot, preferably before Halloween.