(CNN) — For most, the flu is a winter inconvenience — stuffy nose, fever, body aches and a few days of bed rest. But what seems fairly routine also can become life-threatening.
The majority of flu deaths strike the elderly and people with pre-existing health problems. But flu also affects kids with no known medical problems and can send them into critical condition, or even death.
This flu season started slowly, and doctors anticipate the peak will occur this month or April. Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, has been giving booster shots to patients who were vaccinated early in the season, September or October.
“There’s a decline in antibody levels, so we try to give a booster,” Horovitz said. “I’ve been talking to immunologists [about] getting a booster– there’s no downside to it.”
Although doctors advise that nearly everyone should get a flu shot, skepticism about the severity of the illness and questions about shot’s effectiveness persist. Read full story
OTHER HEALTH NEWS: Flu viruses becoming resistant to key weapon Tamiflu
The first in-depth analysis of Tamiflu resistance during last year’s flu epidemic found that about 12% of people with influenza A/H1N1, one of three circulating strains, were infected with resistant viruses. One in five of last year’s patients came down with A/H1N1 viruses.Read full story