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New interview with a CDC epidemiologist offers guidance and preventative tips on beating the bug this flu season

Fall is around the corner and with it comes cooler evenings, football games and an abundance of pumpkin-spice-flavored everything. With these seasonal changes also comes the flu – fatigue, congestion, fever, body aches and a litany of other miserable symptoms that are responsible for hospitalizing tens of thousands of Americans every year. What’s more, the highly contagious virus costs the United States more than $87 billion and is responsible for the loss of millions of workdays every fall and winter.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the world’s foremost experts on influenza, flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s not unusual for new strains to appear each year. This makes it difficult to predict the timing, severity and length of the season from one year to another. Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continues to occur as late as May. In the U.S., flu activity most commonly peaks between December and March.

In a new Industry Insights interview, CDC epidemiologist Kristen Nichols Heitman offers advice to both employers wanting to protect their employees’ health and individuals looking to stay flu-free: get vaccinated. It’s the single best line of defense against the flu.


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