We're in the middle of a particularly nasty bout of influenza - one of the worst flu seasons in years.
It's been rough enough for the Fraser Health Authority to pay special attention, and specifically label it a "health hazard."
While "the flu" exhibits as a relatively mild illness in many people - not much more than a temporary annoyance - it can be serious to severe for others.
Most people who come down with a full-blown case of the flu are knocked out of action for little more than a week - although the current strain seems to have a common life of something more like two weeks or more.
The real problem is for the very young, the very old, and those who have compromised immune systems. Every year, the flu kills a number of people, mostly in those groups.
If you haven't already got your flu shot, you should get it now. Even if you're normally quite healthy and not concerned about getting it yourself, by reducing the likelihood of catching the flu, you also reduce the likelihood of passing it along to someone else - someone who perhaps is much more susceptible to the difficulties and secondary infections that can turn a simple influenza attack into a deadly encounter.
There has been a growing ignorance about vaccinations within a group of individuals who lack understanding of the processes involved in immunization - often promulgated by unscrupulous people who prey on that ignorance, whether to sell bogus products or flog self-help books that pass off fictitious "cures" as science, vastly underrating vaccinations while vastly exaggerating extremely rare side-effects.
It's true that flu vaccinations are not 100 per cent effective in 100 per cent of cases - but they don't have to be to save lives and cut down on a lot of unnecessary suffering.
It's not too late to save yourself - and others. Get your shot.
@ Copyright 2013