Influenza to send over 200,000 to the hospital this year

According to Harvard Medical School, 20 to 30 percent of people carrying the influenza virus show no symptoms. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

As the flu season rapidly approaches, Dr. Justin Puckett, with Complete Family Medicine, is stressing the importance of the flu shot.

"One of the things that we know about influenza is that tens of thousands of people in a bad year can die from complications of flu in the U.S.," Dr. Puckett said.

According to Harvard Medical School, over 200,000 people are hospitalized due to complications from the flu every year. The school says 20 to 30 percent of people carrying the virus show no symptoms.

Puckett said the vaccination is especially important for the elderly.

"In those folks 65 or older, their immune system doesn't respond quite as well to the normal flu shot, so we use a higher dose flu shot with a higher concentration," Puckett said.

According to Dr. Puckett, there are different forms of the shot to ask a doctor about, including preservative and mercury free, and for those who have a known egg allergy.

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