JACKSON, Miss.– Seasonal flu shots are now available at all Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) county clinics. The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for anyone age six months and older.
“This year it is important for everyone to get both the seasonal and swine flu vaccines,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier. “Seasonal flu usually peaks in January through March in Mississippi, but it sometimes reaches high levels as early as December. Mississippians should take the threat of any type of flu very seriously.”
Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 50 and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses.
Seasonal flu vaccinations for adults are $25. Those 18 and under can receive seasonal flu vaccinations for $10. Medicare and Medicaid recipients are asked to bring their cards with them to the clinic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 36,000 deaths nationwide are attributed to seasonal flu and pneumonia each year. In Mississippi, more than 600 deaths were attributed to flu and pneumonia last year.
Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, and often, extreme fatigue. Sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose are also often present.
While shots are the best protection, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu. These measures include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when you or your children are sick and washing your hands frequently.
To locate a county health department clinic in your area or for more information on flu and pneumonia, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com or call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).