The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the 2015-16 flu season saw 25 million flu-related illnesses, 11 million medical visits, 310,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths.
While people of all ages are susceptible to the flu, hospitalizations and deaths most typically occur in the 65 and older and 5 and under age groups, as well as people who are at elevated risk of having flu-related complications, like pregnant women.
Getting a flu shot (rather than a nasal spray, as they’re
not as effective) is your best protection against influenza. As flu epidemics in the U.S. peak between late November and March, it’s a good idea to get vaccinated in late fall since it takes your body up to two weeks to form the antibodies that protect you.
For other insight into keeping this nasty bug at bay this season, we enlisted
Dr. Christopher Sanford, UW Medicine family medicine doctor and UW associate professor of global health. Here’s what we learned.