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Flu Season Arrives Early and It Could Be Severe: CDC
Date:12/4/2012

on their mother's immunity. And children, older adults and those with chronic health conditions are at greatest risk for complications from the flu.

In a typical year, some 200,000 Americans will be hospitalized with the flu, and as many as 40,000 will die from its complications -- principally pneumonia -- according to the CDC.

Dr. Marc Siegel, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said influenza A "usually makes for a worse flu season. But it's impossible to predict how severe it is going to be at this stage."

Siegel believes that the greater the number of people who are vaccinated, the less severe the flu season will be. It's called "herd immunity."

"If you want to protect your pregnant wife or your 3-month-old or your asthmatic boy, get your shot," he said. "Create a ring of immunity for both your family and your community. That's the best thing you can do."

More information

To learn more about the flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor of medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Dec. 3, 2012, press conference with Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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