Narrator: This is Science Today. The peak flu season - October through March - is upon us and if you're in a higher risk group, now is the time to get vaccinated. Mary Lynch, a professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, says this category includes the very young, the very old and those who may have chronic disease or are immunosuppressed.Lynch: Why are we worried about the flu? I'll tell you why we're worried about the flu. Right now and for the past twenty years, over 20 thousand individuals have died each year from influenza or influenza-related complications. So it's not something to take lightly.
Narrator: Lynch says it used to be recommended that people over sixty-five get flu shots every year, but now that figure has dropped to age fifty.
Lynch: Because there was a feeling that many individuals could have existing cardiac or pulmonary problems and not be aware that they had these conditions and not know that they were at risk.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.