Protect yourself against the flu

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – The Mississippi State Department of Health doesn't want the flu to ruin your holiday season.

In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week, MSDH is reminding all Mississippians that the flu vaccine is the best protection against influenza.

According to a release sent out by MSDH, NIVW is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of encouraging influenza vaccination after the holiday season into January and beyond.

"Seasonal flu usually peaks from January to March in Mississippi, but infections can be seen before and after peak season. Mississippians should take the threat of flu very seriously and get vaccinated now," said Dr. Byers.

MSDH said, "Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 50 and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses."

MSDH reports, you can get your flu vaccinations at all county health departments. It also said there is a new vaccine for seniors 65 and older designed to boost immunity and provide increased protection against influenza infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recent estimates of the number of annual influenza-associated deaths average 23,000 per year in the United States.

Seasonal flu symptoms can be fever, coughing, and a sore throat. You may also experience fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose. MSDH reports severe symptoms may last three to six days, and the cough may last for weeks.

While shots are the best protection according to MSDH, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu.

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