Health department encourages residents to get vaccinated

71 per cent fall in number of flu cases

"Anyone can get the flu and face serious complications, which include death", said DHD#10 Medical Director Jennifer Morse.

"While flu cases have been diagnosed and treated by healthcare providers throughout the state already this season, this is the first case confirmed in the MSDH Public Health Laboratory, detected through the Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Sentinel Surveillance System".

The health department said that flu vaccination should also be a priority for those persons who live with or care for persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications. No appointment is necessary.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared December 2-8 as National Influenza Vaccination Week to remind people that it is not too late to get vaccinated.

Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages six months and older receive a flu vaccine each year.

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Moreover, flu shots can be administered any time during pregnancy. People can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.

The flu was first observed in Europe, especially Spain - that's why it has been called the Spanish Flu.

People can help stop the spread of flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when they're sick.

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor found that 75% of people aged 80 or more years, 66% of those aged 70 to 79, and 56% of adults aged 60 to 69 have been vaccinated so far this year.

This year, Rite Aid is once again teaming up with Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a nationally renowned health expert and practicing family physician, to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated. Symptoms include cough, fever, body aches and extreme exhaustion.

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