Former UNC Coach Urges People to Get a Flu Shot

To University of North Carolina basketball fans, if Dean Smith says go get a flu shot, you don't ask why.

College basketball's all-time winningest coach and Hall of Famer spoke briefly in Chapel Hill yesterday about the importance of getting a flu shot.

Smith, the honorary influenza spokesman for North Carolina, says he can't remember that he ever had the flu because he can't remember ever missing a day of work. He says a local doctor used to approach him on the court during practice and give him his flu shot. He was the first in line to get a shot at the center, and it was a good thing. Only 20 doses of the shots were available at the senior center and a few people were turned away.

Each year in North Carolina, about a thousand people die from the flu or flu-related illnesses.

In the United States each year, about 36,000 people die from the flu.