Protection Against the Flu | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 10/10/2012
Last year more than 1,400 people got the flu in North Dakota. More than 70 of them ended up in the hospital.
Pat Swanson has never had the flu and she`s not taking any chances.
"It`s important for me because I was teaching and so then it was very important to me because I was out in the public all the time and then now not only for my own protection but also because we are around our grandkids and great-grandkids and they`re little," she said.
Children are some of the most at-risk for getting severely sick from the flu. Adults 50 and older, people with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease and those who live in long-term care facilities are also at an increased risk of developing complications if they get the virus.
"If you pass that to your grandma or grandpa or an infant or someone who has a chronic medical condition it can be very severe. They can be hospitalized. There could even be deaths," said Department of Health Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell.
Last year only 65 percent of seniors 65 and up got the vaccine, down from the 74 percent who got the vaccine ten years ago. If you`re homebound and want to get the vaccine, Custer Health says its nurses will deliver flu shots to patients at their home or nursing facility.
If you can`t afford the vaccine, contact your health provider or local public health unit.