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Letter: Get a flu shot and save a life, Utahns
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I think I'll save a life today. A stranger's life. Here's how. Influenza is coming to town. I have a one-in-five chance of catching it. And the odds are that I will share it with at least three of my friends and co-workers. Likely, one will have had a shot and be immune, and two will get ill from my gift. Each of those ill will share it with three, and another two will get the illness.

Then every 2 to 3 days, the count doubles again. And again. In 14 generations, about 6 weeks, that number is well over 10,000 victims from my illness. Each one handed my germ (the virus that my cells aided and abetted) down a long line of infection. The odds are that 100 of those folks will be hospitalized, and one will die. I will never meet the family of that one who dies, and I wouldn't know what to say. I don't know just how to bear my share of that burden of responsibility.

So I think I will get out of this line and go get in line for a flu shot.

Bill Cosgrove, M.D.

Cottonwood Heights

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