On a yearly basis within the United States, anywhere from 5% to 20% of the population will become infected with the influenza virus. Of these infected individuals, more than 200,000 will be hospitalized in connection with obtaining this illness.
The flu is much worse than just a cold. The flu will cause you to have a high fever, cough, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, moderate to extreme weakness, and inability to get out of bed for up to 10 days. It can leave you with serious complications such as pneumonia, kidney failure, heart failure, and in some, it can even lead to death.
An alarming 36,000 Americans will die from the flu and its complications. Sadly, more people die from flu than from any other vaccine-preventable disease. This is in part to people underestimating the severity of the influenza virus.
According to the CDC, the best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated every year.