The fall season is here and winter is coming. This is time for the flu, but the exact timing and duration of flu seasons vary. Typically seasonal flu outbreaks begin as early as October. However the peak time for flu activity is between December and February.
According to the CDC, the figure below shows peak flu activity for the United States by month for the 1982-83 through 2013-2014 flu seasons. The “peak month of flu activity” is the month with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza virus infection. During this 32-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (14 seasons), followed by December (6 seasons), January and March (5 seasons each).1
As patients flock to their doctor’s offices and retail pharmacies for flu vaccines, the responsibility of administering the shots usually falls to nurses. And, as with all needle-based procedures, nursing professionals are expected to ease patient anxiety and discomfort to deliver positive patient experiences.
Topical anesthetic skin refrigerants temporarily control the pain associated with this procedure, and Gebauer’s Pain Ease® can do so instantly. In 4 to 10 seconds Pain Ease can go a long way toward providing a solution for the needle-shy patients in need of a flu shot.
With the right treatment, and by equipping nurses with the tools to ease patient anxiety, all of us can better prepare for the flu season.
Click here to see a video of Pain Ease used prior to an injection.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Seasonal Influenza (Flu)