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Spread holiday cheer but not the flu

This flu season could be the worst in nearly a decade, health officials warn. Meanwhile, states nationwide are coping with rising cases of whooping cough.

How can you protect yourself and your family? NBC chief science and medical correspondent Robert Bazell hosted a Twitter chat Wed, Dec. 12. Check out the chat at #nbcnewshealth

Participating in the chat: Mayo Clinic vaccine expert Dr. Gregory Poland (@drgregpoland); Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert Dr. Priya Sampathkumar (@PSampathkumarMD);  Mayo Clinic pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Young Juhn (@YoungJuhnMD) and Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza division.

Follow Robert Bazell on Facebook and on Twitter @RobertBazellNBC.

Doctors say the best prevention against the flu is to get vaccinated. This year's vaccine closely matches the virus that is circulating and is in ample supply, officials told NBC's Robert Bazell.