Millennials may be giving you the flu by choice, survey shows

TAMPA, Fla. - An apple a day keeps the doctor away - but if you do get sick, especially if you get the flu, doctors orders are to stay home.

A new survey, by CityMD, says a certain demographic of people are more likely to throw caution to the wind and show up to work anyway which could have serious consequences. 

The survey says millennials, between the ages of 18-34, are more likely to venture out sick, than people 35 and older. They say another culprit - parents with kids under the age of 18. 

"When you’re that age you don’t think about things that we think about now," said Enrique Garcia.

Garcia is 75-years-old and thinks about the flu every single year.

"I wash my hands, I drink plenty of water," he said.

But his risk of getting the virus may be higher thanks to those top offenders. Nancy Epps, a Registered Nurse, says kids and elderly are impacted the most by flu symptoms and complications but, "Some people can catch the flu and not actually have symptoms," she said. 

That may explain why younger people are admitting to hitting up the corner store or work instead of staying home. The CDC says thousands of people die every year from flu complications. The virus can stay on surfaces for up to 24 hours - the harder the surface, the longer it sticks around.

Elena Palma is 92-years-old and says the last time she was sick was in 1994, thanks to the Flu vaccine. 

"For a person like me, at my age, it’s very bad because you can get pneumonia and then you die," she said.
 
Officials at USF say it may be hard convincing millennials to stay home when they have the flu because of financial reasons, fear of losing their job, or not having benefits that allow them sick days, which is why they say a far more effective strategy is to encourage them to get the shot too.

"You may not think of doing the flu shot for you because you are healthy and young but helping to protect the people around you is very important," said Epps.

To make a flu vaccine appointment, or find out where they are offered, click here.

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