Think we’re just a cold? Ha!David Goldin for Reader’s Digest
Underestimate us at your peril. Each year on average, we send 200,000 people to the hospital and have a hand in killing at least 23,000 (usually if they also develop complications such as pneumonia). Not to brag, but we are strong enough to render even a totally normal, healthy person gravely ill. These are the symptoms of the flu you shouldn’t ignore.
We dread nothing more than the flu vaccine.iStock/Thinkstock
It’s the best way to ensure that we can’t wreak havoc. A vaccine provides your immune system with NSA-level intelligence to identify and eradicate us. This season, we’re especially nervous—there’s a new quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four flu strains instead of the usual three. There’s a new vaccine for people who are allergic to eggs and, once again, an extra-strength version for senior citizens. Yikes. Just be sure you’re not making these mistakes that could mess up your flu shot.