The Flu Epidemic and the Latino Community


Every year the Latino community is hit harder by influenza than other demographics, according to several studies. In 2016, the flu was the third highest cause of death among Latinos in New York City.Reports show Hispanics and Latinos are less likely to get vaccinated than other ethnic groups.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 39.1 percent of Latino adults do not get vaccinated, in comparison to 49.1 percent of non-Hispanic adults. Access to health care is also a factor that impacts the community directly. About 20 percent of Latinos under 65 years old do not have health insurance, according to the CDC, and 27 percent lack a regular physician.

This is why the CDC targets the community to break down language barriers and reluctance toward immunization by distributing material in Spanish. The agency even created telenovela-like ad titled Un Amor Prohibido, which reminds the community how important vaccines are for families and pregnant women.

Flu case numbers and ER visits are escalating to alarming rates, with deaths from related infections, like pneumonia and septic shock, headlining the news. To prevent getting and spreading influenza, the CDC recommends a yearly vaccine that protects against a variety of flu viruses.