Flu season is in full effect, with thousands of people in more than half of the country already infected with influenza-like-illness. If you think just because you’ve had the flu shot that means you’re protected … think again. Dr. David Samadi joined America’s New HQ to discuss what you need to know about the potentially deadly virus.

This is the earliest the flu season has started since 2003-2004. Sadly, eight children have died from flu-associated complications during the 2012-2013 season. “We’re in deep trouble because the type of the flu that we have is the influenza A which is the H3N2,” Dr. Samadi explained.

This particular virus is aggressive and deadly, having already

put thousands in the hospital. The peak of flu season is generally around January and February. The timing of the bug this year is worse because as people travel for the holidays, the bug travels with them. Dr. Samadi warned, “With just one sneeze or cough, you have 20 feet of viruses you can spread to a lot of people.”

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What’s the takeaway from all of this? Other than please, cover your mouths … people should also be vaccinated. The vaccine may not guarantee that you won’t catch the flu, but it can shorten the period and severity of your sickness. Remember, it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to kick in.

Dr. Samadi advised, “If you’re sick, stay away from other people and make sure you don’t come to work. […] If you catch it in the first 24 to 48 hours, Tamiflu, which is the prescription medication given by your doctor, is going to shorten the period.”

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