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Cytosorbents CEO on How to Avoid the Flu and 'Cytokine Storms'

Last year 80,000 people died from the flu - making it the most dangerous season in more than four decades.

Did you get your flu shot?

According to the Center for Disease Control, the amount of adults getting the flu shot was 37% less than the 2016-2017 flu season. 

The CDC recommends that anyone with a fever should stay home at least 24 hours after the fever has passed. 

Employers spent an estimated $21 billion in lost productivity in 2017. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dr. Phil Chan, CEO of Cytosorbents (CTSO) - Get CytoSorbents Corporation Report , a company that focuses on blood purification technology, talked to TheStreet about the flu season and how it is affecting the workplace. 

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More than 80,000 people died from the flu last season, making it the deadliest flu season in 40 years. To put that number in perspective, the average number of yearly deaths from the flu is 12,000 to 56,000.

You know those flu-like symptoms? The achiness, fever, etc.? Those symptoms are actually not caused by the flu itself. They're caused by cytokines, a protein in the body. Human bodies produce cytokines to help fight off the virus.

Chan explained that people with the flu can have an overwhelming reaction, which is called a "cytokine storm" - a reaction when cytokines "storm" the body.

This storm can actually weaken a sick person, Chan explained. Cytosorbents uses a device to purify the blood, which helps to battle and control inflammation. 

By purifying the blood, the device helps to clear out the excess cytokines that are flooding the patients body.

So, how can people avoid getting the flu? Chan says the answer is simple: Get the flu shot.