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The flu's deadly threat

Flu season generally peaks in January and February

Flu season generally peaks in January and February but can last into the spring, officials say. Credit: Johnny Milano

Even as the spotlight remains on the coronavirus outbreak, it would be wise to pay attention to a more common and deadly virus: the flu.

In the 2019-2020 season, the flu has killed at least 12,000 Americans and sickened 22 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New York, there have been nearly  90,000 cases of the flu and three flu-related pediatric deaths so far this season.

There are a few simple things one can do. Most important, get the flu vaccine. While no flu vaccine is perfect, experts note that it lessens the likelihood of getting the flu and it makes the virus less severe for those who do. And if you do  get the flu, follow your doctor’s orders. The tragic story of a Colorado preschooler who died from the flu after his mother didn’t give him a prescribed antiviral medication should be a lesson for everyone.

The flu season lasts until May. It’s not too late to protect yourself.

— The editorial board