More than 40 percent of Americans believe catching the flu is unavoidable

A recent survey conducted on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association by Harris Poll found 42 percent of Americans believe they will contract influenza or a cold during the colder parts of the year.

For the online survey, Harris Poll asked 2,088 U.S. adults about the likelihood of becoming ill during cold and flu season and the most likely hotspots of transmission. Among participants, 36 percent believed the workplace to be the most likely location to catch the flu or cold, 24 percent said public transportation, 18 percent said family or roommates, 4 percent said gyms and 2 percent said houses of worship.

The survey comes after estimates on flu shot adherence for 2016 were released by the CDC earlier this month. According to the agency's numbers, approximately two out of five Americans were inoculated against influenza in 2016.

In response to the CDC's estimates, Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, "We have a tool that is proven to prevent flu illness and hospitalization but millions of people are not taking advantage of it. Too many people are unprotected."

Despite low adherence, flu shots prevented an estimated 5 million illnesses and more than 70,000 hospitalizations in 2015, according to the CDC.

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