Don’t underestimate the flu; it can kill you

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - What are your chances of dying from the flu and how does it even happen?

The CDC estimates that between 12,000 and 56,000 flu-related deaths occur each year. While flu is most dangerous for adults over the age of 65 and children under the age of 5, it can be deadly for anyone.

Some victims may contract a second infection while already battling the flu, like pneumonia, which can be severe enough to lead to organ failure.

Sepsis is another complication that can lead to death. It occurs when the body overreacts to an infection.

Other people may die from the flu because their immune systems are already compromised by another illness like diabetes, asthma, and chronic lung disease.

"Some people might have underlying heart conditions that might predispose them from dying from the flu even though they didn't know they were sick," Dr. Lori Caloia from the Department of Public Health and Wellness said. "There are a lot of possible reasons why."

Public Health and Wellness also encourages people to get the flu shot. It takes about ten days to kick in. For people 65 and older, there is a high dose flu vaccine that offers even more protection.