Annual flu vaccine still best protection against influenza virus
DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- During the past few years, flu activity in the U.S. has seen some dramatic changes, both in preventive measures and ways to treat the virus, leaving many to question the need for flu protection. As one of the nation's largest providers of urgent care services, Concentra is helping to educate the public about What's New with Flu, and the proper ways to stay healthy during flu season.
In 2009, the new H1N1 virus, commonly known as the Swine flu, first appeared in the U.S. and the transmission of the virus quickly led to widespread concern. Last year's flu season was particularly mild and the H1N1 virus was reclassified as a seasonal strain and was included in the single-dose flu vaccine. To help provide a timely update on this year's flu season and forecast, Concentra has compiled the latest facts and figures about What's New with Flu:
- Less pinch and poke – A new vaccine administration option is available for 2012, which features an ultra-fine needle that is 90 percent shorter than the typical needle used for injections.
- H1N1 still a threat? – The World Health Organization officially declared an end to the H1N1 pandemic. However, the H1N1 virus continues to circulate in many parts of the world as a seasonal flu strain, and the H1N1 vaccine is part of this year's annual flu shot.
- Flu shot or not? – Despite mild flu seasons recently, doctors and experts agree that an annual flu shot is still the best defense against influenza, and offers up to 90 percent coverage against seasonal influenza.
- Triple threat – The 2011-2012 flu vaccine will protect against the three most common influenza flu strains currently circulating, which includes two influenza A viruses (H1N1, H3N2), and an influenza B virus. This single shot dose will provide the best protection against influenza.
"With an all-new season flu vaccine available this fall, it's more important than ever for the public to be protected from circulating strains of influenza," said Senior Vice President of Medical Operations Bill Lewis, M.D. "By providing employers and patients in the area with seasonal influenza vaccines, physicians and public health officials can better prepare for the upcoming flu season."
Seasonal influenza, or the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory infection and often includes symptoms like high fever, cough, and full body aches. Flu symptoms are more severe than those of colds and can cause medical complications that result in an average of 36,000 deaths each year. But the flu can be prevented with an annual flu vaccine. To see what else is new with the flu, and view the complete list of facts and figures for the 2011-2012 flu season, visit www.concentra.com/flu.
Flu shots are available at all Concentra Urgent Care locations across the country. No appointment is necessary, walk-ins are welcome. With locations throughout the nation, many with weekend and extended evening hours, Concentra delivers the care patients need, when they need it most. For a complete list of locations, visit www.Concentra.com.
Concentra, a subsidiary of Humana Inc., is a leading health care company focused on improving America's health, one patient at a time. Through its affiliated clinicians, the company provides occupational medicine, urgent care, physical therapy, and wellness services from more than 310 medical centers in 40 states. In addition to these medical center locations, Concentra serves employers by providing a broad range of health advisory services and operating more than 260 worksite medical facilities. Through this complement of services, Concentra intends to raise the standard of health by putting individuals first, treating them with clinical excellence, and focusing on their ongoing wellness. www.Concentra.com
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders;
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
- Most recent investor conference presentations;
- Quarterly earnings news releases;
- Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
- Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
- Corporate Governance information