The Five: The Flu —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

This year’s strains of influenza are particularly virulent, and unfortunately the vaccine developed this year does not provide protection against all of the strains.  The flu is a nasty virus that causes 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. The largest and deadliest flu outbreak was the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919 that caused 20 to 40 million deaths.  Now we are lucky to have a healthcare system that prevents most deaths, and vaccines that provide protection against most strains of the flu. 

1. Symptoms:  Many people confuse the symptoms of flu with the cold, but the flu has definite symptoms, such as: 
2. People who are at risk for severe complications:
3. Prevention:
4. The Flu:
5. The Bottom Line:

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