Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorSeems like every year or so, we get warnings about these zombie apocalypse flu bugs that will make the flu season “worse than any in recent memory” — at which point I usually hit the mental snooze button.

But this year, the warning may carry a little extra weight. It’s seems the flu has shown up earlier, is more contagious, and is more severe than any bug since the 2003-2004 season. That season, incidentally, was a bad one — with more than 48,000 deaths.

This year’s strain not only acts like that one, but may in fact be the same one- – it just mutated a bit for an encore performance.

Right now, the flu numbers in our state show a spike — that’s based on numbers from late November. Google flu, or the online flu tracker which tracks up to Dec. 2, shows Colorado has not had any outbreaks, but a moderate level of flu. We usually don’t see moderate until later February.

BTW, the southeastern U.S. is getting nailed the worst right now. Must have been those SEC football games.

So, have you gotten a flu shot? I know it’s not the perfect vaccine, but it’s pretty close, and despite trash talk to the contrary, is a pretty safe vaccine.

I’ve had mine. and I HATE shots. Why? I actually did have true influenza once, and thought I was going to die. Right after finals in med school. Never again. So up went the roll of the sleeve last month.

RELATED: CDC warns flu season off to earliest start in decade

A quick reminder: The vaccine is recommended for pretty much everyone over 6 months of age. And the major causes of death from flu is heart attack, stroke and pneumonia.

That’s right. Heart attack.

When you get the flu, it can put such a strain on your ticker, it breaks down.

And if you’re not worried about that, how about pneumonia? It can be suffocating while simultaneously coughing a lung out. Very unpleasant.

So … don’t be stubborn. You aren’t Superman. But the flu is Human Kryptonite. Straight from the zombies.


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