Flu season is beginning to show symptoms across the state and Dr. Paul Byers, Epidemiologist for the Mississippi Department of Health, says the most important tip for flu prevention is getting a flu shot.
“It’s recommended for anybody over the age of 6 months. It’s especially recommended for high-risk groups which include women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during the flu season, folks who have underlying chronic medical problems (like diabetes or a heart condition), or anybody who is at the extremes of age. We see more complications in children under the age of 5 and adults over the age 65,” Dr. Byers said.
Byers said that there were several cases of child deaths from the flu last year, and the department continues to urge flu shots as a way to combat this.
In addition to getting a flu shot, Byers mentioned all of the standard practices such as covering your coughs and sneezes, staying home when you’re sick, keeping your children home from school if they are showing symptoms, and washing your hands frequently.
Byers also stated that the southeastern part of the United States has been increasingly prone to the flu virus over the past several years.
With the holiday season being all about togetherness, these tips become increasingly important as to not expose everyone to the virus. Byers says that it’s not the act of travel that makes people more susceptible to getting sick and that it can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken.