Letter to the editor: Improve flu awareness
Regarding the article “3 more die of flu in Allegheny County” : As a medical student, I am appalled by the number of lives claimed every year by the flu, both here in Allegheny County and across the U.S. To prevent further deaths, we need to improve both access to the flu vaccine and public awareness of its importance.
Recently, a man in his early 30s came to the emergency room with a high fever. As he struggled to breathe, he said that he had not received a flu shot. I hear variations of his story often, both in my clinical experiences and personal life. Misinformation about vaccines abounds; many people don't know that a flu shot carries minimal risk and can save lives.
It is unacceptable that the flu, usually a preventable illness, sickens and kills thousands of people every year. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the health services of Allegheny County improve accessibility of the flu vaccine and educate the public about the necessity of getting vaccinated.
The writer is a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh.