Flu is unpredictable; your best defense is a flu shot

November is the beginning of the cyclical flu season. Like raking leaves and eating turkey on Thanksgiving, this month is also the time to obtain your annual influenza vaccination. Because the infection’s viral strains can differ each year, morbidity and mortality varies from one season to the next. The most effective method to reduce the possibility of becoming ill is to get a flu shot every year.

The influenza virus was first identified in 1933. Shortly thereafter, the initial generation of inactivated vaccines was produced. The World Health Organization now determines yearly recommendations for the composition of the annual immunizations to match the evolution of the influenza...