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Influenza resources updated for 2020-21 season and COVID-19

Until 2020, most people tended to think of influenza as just a nuisance winter illness that might keep one in bed for a few days but this year, with COVID-19 still roiling the country, it needs to be considered more seriously by Americans.

The flu has always been a potentially deadly virus that attacks the lungs, like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. In 2019-2020 flu season, about 22,000 Americans died from the flu, and flu and pneumonia were among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.

Flu season begins Oct. 1 and infectious disease physicians and public health officials are deeply concerned that Americans face exposure to two potentially deadly viruses – flu and SARS-CoV-2. They are urging all Americans over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot as soon as possible. Though the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, it reduces the likelihood by about 40% to 60% that a person who gets the flu won’t end up in the hospital.

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