By Steven Reinberg
THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The only thing predictable about the flu is its unpredictability, U.S. health officials said Thursday, as they urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming season.
Even though last year's flu season was one of the mildest on record, that's no sign of what this season will bring. It was only two years ago, officials noted, that the H1N1 pandemic flu swept around the world, sickening millions.
"The last several years have demonstrated that influenza is predictably unpredictable," Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a morning news conference.
"Even mild seasons can lead to suffering and death," Koh added. "Sadly, last year there were some 34 influenza-associated pediatric deaths."