"That's because this year", says Lamelas, "the CDC expects flu activity to rise ahead of the regular flu period and affect more people than a typical flu season. It's a serious situation. While the average seasonal flu generally affects and causes the most deaths among the elderly population, the swine flu has been affecting children and young adults most severely."
According to the CDC, the seasonal flu typically causes about 36,000 death and 200,000 hospitalizations every year, mostly among older adults and high risk groups. On Monday, the White House released a report that included estimates that another 30,000 to 90,000 people could die from the swine flu this season, about twice the number of people who typically die from seasonal flu, because people lack immunity to the swine flu virus. Early estimates from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology predict swine flu may infect half the U.S. population and hospitalize 1.8 million patients.
Who should get the Seasonal Flu Shot?
"Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu." says Lamelas. "This year the CDC recommends you get a seasonal flu vaccination and the H1N1 flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older."
Here are three steps you can take to reduce or prevent you and your loved ones from the adverse effects of the flu this season:
Step # 1 - Take the time to get vaccinated. The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year.
Step #2 - Take everyday preventative p
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