While the death toll continues to rise from the Coronavirus, the common flu remains a higher threat to U.S. public health. The Center for Disease Control estimates this flu season has sickened at least 22 million across the U.S. and led to at least 12,000 deaths and 210,000 hospitalizations. MercyOne Hospital’s Infection Preventionist, Gail Gates, says the very young and old are most at risk. Gates says getting a flu shot is vital and other basic precautions, like washing your hands often, are a good way to avoid getting sick. The official flu season runs from October 1st though the end of March.