The flu has already hit Maryland and killed two people this season. Almost a dozen others were hospitalized. The doctors are pushing for precautions, such as feeling vaccinated, so that they do not end up as one of those statistics.
Dr. Jawad Saade, a medical doctor at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center, tells you everything you need to know about the flu
What is the flu and how do people get it?  Influenza, commonly known as the "flu," is an infectious respiratory disease that is most commonly caused by influenza A or B viruses. It is transmitted via air droplets that are released by the infected person when sneezing, coughing or speaking and are passed on to another person's mouth, nose, eyes or lungs by inhalation either directly or indirectly.
What are the symptoms of a flu?
The most important preventative step is the annual flu vaccine. Another preventive measure is to avoid close contact with people who already have flu. If you are near people who have been infected with the flu virus, wear a mask if possible. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or rubbing alcohol-based hand. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people suffering from flu-like illnesses stay home for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication after the fever.
Who should get the flu? Vaccine? Are there patient populations that can not be vaccinated?
Influenza vaccine recommended for all six-month-and-six-month pregnant women, including pregnant women, according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
The flu vaccine is particularly important for some people who are more at risk of having flu-like complications than others when they get sick, including children between six months and four years old, people over 50, residents of nursing homes and other care facilities; pregnant women and people with chronic heart, lung, liver, kidney, endocrine disorders as well as people taking medicines that reduce their immunity, such as steroids, immunosuppressants and chemotherapeutics
People who are not advised to take the drug Influenza vaccination includes children younger than six months old and people with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine.
People are advised to consult their doctor before a flu shot if they have had or have Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralysis disease, also called GBS), are ill and / or have fever during vaccination or have an allergy to it Eggs (mild allergy reaction as hives is not considered a contraindication to the flu vaccine)
How is the flu treated? When should someone go to the doctor?
In most cases, the flu virus is best treated conservatively with bed rest and plenty of fluid along with over-the-counter antipyretic drugs.
If the flu symptoms are severe, a person is at high risk of developing severe flu-like complications and / or the person has chronic chronic illness, it is recommended to consult a doctor who has an antiviral drug such as osetamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamavir (Relenza) could prescribe. If taken within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, these medicines can shorten the illness by a day or so and prevent further serious complications.
It is always important to see a doctor if you experience the following symptoms: Quick breathing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, change in skin tone, rash with fever, pain or pressure in the chest or in the abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent Vomiting and flu-like symptoms that improve and then return to fever and more severe cough.
When can the flu be dangerous?
The flu virus can be dangerous if complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, severe dehydration and sepsis occur These include muscle inflammation, heart attacks , Inflammation of the heart and problems with the central nervous system.
How accurate should the vaccine be this year?
It is not possible to predict whether the influenza vaccine will be effective this year or not. Circulating influenza viruses can change from one season to the next, or even over the same season, and therefore adapting to the flu vaccine can be a challenge.
Why did so many people die from the flu last year?
Last year's flu season, according to the CDC, was a tough season and one of the worst seasons we've had in the last four decades. The CDC had high outpatient and emergency visits, as well as high rates of hospital admissions and deaths. The most severely affected by the flu were the elderly, aged 65 and over.
One of the main causes of the high severity of the flu season last year was the fact that a new influenza B strain originated circulating virus (H3N2) that the vaccine did not agree with. As a result, last season's vaccine had little overall efficacy against this particular virus strain.
This year, as every year, flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
Can people get the flu from the vaccine or is it a common myth?