Protect Yourself This Flu Season

By Emma Ashmawi

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 7:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - According to the Allen County Department of Health, flu season is coming sooner than expected.

Every year more than 200,000 people nationwide are hospitalized with influenza. Of this number, roughly 20,000 result in death. According to Dr. Deborah McMahan, Fort Wayne/Allen County Health Commissioner, the flu is not the same as the "common cold" and everybody should get a flu shot, even if they've never had the flu before.

"Often times what can happen is you start off with influenza and that so weakens you immune system that it makes you susceptible to anything else you might come in contact with and often times people die of a secondary pneumonia," McMahan said.

People over the age of 65 are recommended to get the "high dose" vaccine and there are options for those who don't like needles.

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