Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus. Symptoms include: fever or feeling feverish, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle of body aches, headaches and fatigue. Children are more likely to experience vomiting and diarrhea.
Direct costs of seasonal influenza alone total more than $10.4 billion, which includes 3.1 million hospital days, and 31.4 million outpatient doctors visits. Indirectly, seasonal influenza costs millions of dollars in reduced productivity and lost work days. Vaccinating employees against the seasonal flu can save $66.44 in direct and indirect costs per person (in 2007 dollars), or $6,644 per 100 employees.
Prevention: Influenza vaccine
Frequency: Individuals should receive the vaccine every flu season. It protects from the three most common influenza viruses of the season.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by a bacteria that affects the lungs. This type of pneumonia is spread person to person through coughing, sneezing, or contact with respiratory secretions. Symptoms include high fever, cough, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and chest pains.
Although the percentage of older adults who have ever received the pneumonia vaccine is on the rise - 42% vaccination rates in 1997 and 61% vaccination rates in 2009 - a significant portion have still not been vaccinated. With 175,000 cases each year, pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia acquired outside of hospitals. The fatality rate is about 5-7% with higher rates of death in the elderly. Adults 65 and older, children under 2 years and those with certain medical conditions are at highest risk of developing pneumonia.
Prevention: Pneumococcal vaccine
Frequency: Recommended for adults 65 and older or adults with chronic health problems. One dose is required.
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