Gearing up for Flu Season

Medical officials are urging people to get their flu shots early.

Last season, flu cases began to peak in November and December instead of the more typical month of February, and this season may mirror last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 73,000 specimens tested positive for the influenza A virus and influenza B virus from September 2012 to May 2013.

This season's vaccine includes an additional strain of influenza B that was widely seen in the infected population last year. Four strains of the flu are covered by this season's vaccine.

Up to 220,000 people per year are hospitalized and an average of 24,000 patients die nationwide as a result of influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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