If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine this year, it’s not too late.
Mississippi is seeing one of the highest incidences of flu in the U.S. this year, along with several other southern states.
The flu is no joke. During the last flu season, nearly 1 million people in the U.S. were hospitalized, and about 56,000 people died from the virus, including 186 children. The folks at highest risk of death from flu are people 65 and older.
The Mississippi State Department of Heath continues to offer low-cost vaccines to children and qualifying adults without health insurance at county health departments. The Warren County Health Department is located at 807 Monroe St. in Vicksburg.
Shots are also available at most pharmacies and retail centers, and at your doctor’s office.
With very few exceptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu shot for everyone six months of age and over.
Everyone can also take some commonsense precautions to prevent contracting or spreading the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you have flu symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
The most recent data for the week ending Nov 30, 2019, shows that flu continues to spread rapidly. Twelve states (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) and Puerto Rico now seeing high levels of flu, up from eight the previous week, according to the CDC.here.