Doctors deliver blunt message about a record 80,000 flu deaths

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Flu killed 80,000 people this past season and put 900,000 into the hospital, making it the worst influenza season in decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The numbers were shocking. Until now, CDC has said flu kills anywhere between 12,000 and 56,000 people a year, depending on how bad the flu season is, and that it puts between 250,000 and 700,000 into the hospital with serious illness. The numbers for the 2017-2018 flu season go far beyond that.

“It’s high, but it’s consistent with what we had last season,” the CDC’s flu division director, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, told NBC News.

Other doctors spoke bluntly in saying how so many people got infected and died.

“Those 80,000 people who died from flu last year? Guess what? They got it from someone. Someone gave them the flu,” Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said at a news conference.