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It's not too late to get a flu shot

Johnson City Press - 12/10/2017

If you haven't gotten a flu shot this year, now is the time to do so. Health officials recommend a flu vaccination for everyone over 6 months old, especially pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

Flu season usually begins in October and ends in late March. Mountain States Health Alliance hospitals have already seen 80 positive flu cases this season.

Getting a flu shot is an important part of preventative medicine. Between 5 percent and 20 percent of the population is stricken with influenza annually.

There are ways to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you cover your mouth when you cough, cover your nose when you sneeze and don't forget to wash your hands when you do either.

The primary way flu and colds are spread is from person to person in the form of respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. This happens when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and are deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby.

Also keep in mind the CDC says some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs and desks.

Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away.

If a tissue is not available, sneeze into your elbow so the germs will not transmit to the next thing you touch. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

The CDC recommends that you wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.


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