Coronavirus: Resources, Flu Vaccinations, and More

February 10, 2020

By Theo Smith, Communications Intern

What is the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan, China. It is currently unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the spread of this virus and updating their web page with new information.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus. However, the best way to prevent any infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to stay up to date with all your vaccinations. Here are a few everyday preventive actions the CDC recommends that can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.

And while the coronavirus is getting a lot of attention, it is still flu season, and more people have died from and contracted the flu in the United States than the total number of people sickened by the coronavirus across the globe!

How can a flu vaccine help me? 

For people with serious health conditions, a flu vaccination can be lifesaving. There is an increased risk that individuals with chronic health conditions face with the flu infection. People who are at high-risk for flu complications include: people over 64 years and older, young children, people with asthma, and people with chronic conditions or illnesses.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. The CDC recommends that anyone six month of age or older get vaccinated, particularly people who are at high risk for flu complications. Individuals who care for or live with these high-risk populations also should get vaccinated.

Additionally, the same CDC recommendations listed above for preventing the coronavirus are applicable to the flu. Read our blog on flu vaccinations this season.

Why are vaccinations important to patients with chronic diseases?  

Promoting flu vaccinations among those with serious health conditions along with their caregivers can be lifesaving.

On December 6, 2019, the NHC and National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care and Equity (SHC) held an educational webinar on the importance of influenza vaccinations for patients with chronic diseases during National Influenza Vaccination Week. The webinar focused on how individuals with chronic health conditions are at an increased risk of the flu, information about the current flu season, and an overall importance of vaccinations.

View the webinar.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot! Protect yourself and your loved ones!