Every year in this country, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu related complications, and 36,000 people end up dying. UMC says the flu is blamed for an increase in patients in their intensive care units right now.
Dr. Mike Ragain, chief medical officer at UMC, says the best thing you can do is to make sure everyone in your family gets a flu shot as soon as possible. And he says it will not give you the flu, but here's why some people believe it does.
"Most people are getting the flu shot in the middle of the cold and flu season, and so they've often have encountered the virus and have the infection already when they get the shot and that's why they have symptoms after the flu shot," says Dr. Ragain.
But if you have already been infected, Dr. Ragain also says the shot can at least lessen your symptoms of the flu.
Also, he says it's not hard to tell the difference between a cold and the flu, because he says if you have a fever, and you feel like you've been hit by a truck, then it probably is the flu.
His advice is to stay home rather than try to go to work, and infect everybody else.