By Barbara Schwarz

You’ve heard it for months, get a flu shot. It’s going to be a bad flu season. Turns out truer words were never spoken.

Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor says if you’ve never had it before, this is the year you’re going to get it.

He’s right…for me. I had never had the flu before but this was the first year I’d not gotten the flu shot.

Like most victims, I came down with the A strain which is the most common.

Dr. Hotez says here’s what you might expect.

“First of all fever and it’s very uncomfortable. You get terrible body aches and body pains,” said Dr. Hotez. “Also all of the respiratory symptoms that go with it.  Since you’ve just gone through it you could probably articulate it better than anybody.”

For me it started with a throat so sore it kept me awake, 102 degree fever, the chills, a headache, congestion in my chest, coughing that felt like my lungs were on fire, and body aches in odd places like my hips and back. I could only eat chicken noodle soup and croissants.

You’ve heard the term sick as a dog?  I was sicker than at least a dozen dogs! With the help of Tami flu I was better in five days.  So do I or anyone who’s had the flu need to bother with the shot?

Dr. Hotez says you should probably still get the vaccine because there are other strains of the virus.

And nobody wants to go through this more than once. And yes, perhaps you’ve heard, this year’s vaccine isn’t the best match, but it will help.

“You get fewer days when you’re sick and it can also prevent flu complications, said Dr. Hoetz. “With the flu you can get severe respiratory complications that require hospitalization.”

Older people and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk for hospitalization. Dr. Hotez says in a good year the flu can kill 3,000 people, in a bad year 50,000 or more.