Predicting what fast-mutating influenza viruses will do is never easy, but the evidence so far indicates that North America should brace for a bad year. Flu season, which can start as early as October and typically peaks in January or February, kills between 12,000 and 79,000 people in the US every year.

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. The flu will likely batter the Northern Hemisphere this year.


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