There is an article by Kimberly Powell over here on About.com about the influenza (flu) epidemic of 1918 – 1919. In the article, it says that an estimated 50 million people died worldwide from the flu during that time. During that same time, World War I  had casualties of 16½ million. So the flu was more devastating than the war. Flu still kills many people every year. The last time I had the flu was in the late 50s and it was terrible. The best way to tell the difference between the flu and a common cold is that with the flu you have a fever and muscle aches. Vaccines are usually recommended for young children and the elderly but everyone could benefit by getting the vaccine. The vaccine is made from dead flu virus so there isn’t any danger of getting the flu from the vaccine. So consider getting this year’s vaccine when it becomes available.