Two months of flu season remain, shots available

An editorial from the Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Some things about winter never change.

It’s cold.

There will likely be snow.

And people you know (or maybe even you) will get the flu.

With positive cases of the flu as well as a lot of influenza-like illness being reported in Marion County, it’s important to do everything possible to stay healthy.

Earlier this month, officials at the Marion County Health Department said 31 cases of the flu had been reported locally. Of those cases, almost all were influenza type A, and many were H1N1, which is a strain of influenza type A. The county also had received 107 reports of influenza-like illness.

Patients are diagnosed with influenza-like illness when they have a fever of 100 degrees or higher along with a cough or sore throat, but no other symptoms. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, chills and headaches, and just feeling bad and general malaise.

And with flu season typically lasting through March, there are still plenty of steps you can take to help ensure you don’t get sick.

Health officials have long touted getting a flu shot as the best defense against the flu. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, vaccination against the flu can reduce the chances of flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed work due to flu as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

The flu shot is recommended for everyone, but especially for children, people over 65, pregnant women and individuals with chronic diseases…

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