The Cost of the Flu

CDC: Flu Costs Nation $10.4 Billion in Direct Medical Expenses

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If you’re thinking about skipping a flu shot this year you might want to think about your wallet.

Flu season carries an actual price tag for the nation, but the impact on your bottom line can be curbed with some simple steps.

In addition to the sneezing, the coughing, the aches and the misery, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu carries an economic toll for the nation every year.

That includes $10.4 billion in direct medical expenses and $16.3 billion in lost earnings for sick employees.

The flu can be particularly costly for households with young children, who are most likely to become infected with the flu virus, the CDC says.

It found that caregivers of children sick with the flu took on medical expenses between $300,000 and$400,000, depending upon the severity of the illness.

For kids and adults, fighting fall and winter colds and flu can be made easier by putting certain items in the grocery cart.

– Yogurt’s live cultures can help prevent colds
– Mushrooms show promise in boosting immunity
– Water and other fluids can help clean a cold out of your system
– Hot peppers and spices can help clear sinuses
– Honey can soothe an irritated throat.

Flu season typically peaks between January and March, but the CDC warns the flu is unpredictable, and timing varies every year.

That’s why it recommends getting a vaccine now, in the fall.

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