Vaccine offers best defense for the flu
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 14, 2002
While hand-washing can prevent people from spreading the flu, the best way to avoid it is with a flu shot.
For the last two years, flu vaccines were available later than normal. Last year, companies began shipping partial orders in October for those most at risk the elderly, health care workers and people with chronic and long-term health conditions.
Dr. Margaret Morrison, a health officer with the state Department of Health, said Friday that vaccines are expected to be available around Nov. 1 this year.
Although flu season in the United States peaks between December and March, most cases in Mississippi emerge in late winter.
The Center for Disease Control also recommends children receive flu shots.
Flu shots create an immunity that lasts six to eight months. Some side effects may include minor aching at the point of injection and a low-grade fever, according to the Mississippi State University Extension Office.
Here are some illnesses that regular hand washing can help you prevent.
The common cold.
Illnesses related to salmonella.
Here are some preventive
measures that can help keep you healthy by improving general resistance to infections.
Plenty of fresh air.
Stay well rested.
Stop smoking (smokers are more susceptible to respiratory infections).
If you do get sick, keep these points in mind to avoid spreading the illness.
Cover your face and nose when sneezing.
Stay away from work and school when sick.
Properly dispose of used tissues.
Wash your hands.