Swine Flu vaccine arrives in Mississippi

By WLOX Staff

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Eight Mississippians have now died from the H1N1 Swine Flu. The Mississippi Department of Health on Tuesday reported that a Jones County woman died from the virus. It's the third death related to H1N1 in that county.

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in Mississippi has risen to 1,032, but that's only a fraction of the suspected cases that have been reported.

Mississippi currently has about 10,000 doses of the swine flu nasal mist vaccine, but it's not being distributed just yet. The state Health Department started taking applications Tuesday from hospitals throughout the state wanting the vaccine.

Agency spokesperson Liz Sharlot said the department is giving the nasal flu mist to health care workers first.

The nasal spray form of the vaccine can only be used by people who are in perfect health, and are between the ages of two and 49. Sharlot said once the injectable version of the vaccine arrives, the shot will be offered to those who can't take the nasal vaccine, including pregnant women.

Sharlot said vaccinating Mississippians will be a long process. And she stressed that people should continue to practice good hygiene and stay home while they're sick.

At least 13 other states also received the vaccine Tuesday.

Public health officials warn that if you do get the vaccine, you may experience side effects including minor headaches and muscle cramps.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu, with fever, respiratory symptoms and body aches. According to the Health Department, many of the swine flu deaths nationwide were among people with pre-existing health conditions.

Click here for more on how you can stay informed and stay healthy this flu season.

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