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Flu Season Hits Hard and Early in Mississippi

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 09 Jan 2013 05:06pm | comments

The early start to flu season that's sweeping the country has not spared Mississippi. The state is among the top 29 in the country seeing high levels of flu like illnesses. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports doctors are encouraging people to get the flu shot to help prevent the spread of the disease.

 

This winter has seen the earliest flu outbreak in more than a decade. Since early October at least 18 children across the U.S. have died from the flu, none were from Mississippi.  However, Dr. Will Sorey, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is still recommending flu shots for everyone six months and older.

 

"Children are more likely to get pneumonia just like senior citizens that get the flu they're apt to get pneumonia. And if you look at the obituaries in the papers right now. A lot of the seniors  that are listed in the paper are the ones that got flu, got pneumonia and got called to glory."

 

According to the State Department of Health Website, Pneumonia is the deadliest complication from flu. More than 600 Mississippian's a year die from flu and pneumonia. That's why Sorey is stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.

 

"There's also a nasal vaccine if you don't like injections you can get that as long as you don't have certain medical conditions and your doctor or pharmacist can talk to you about that. You can go to a lot of pharmacies and get the shot there. I don't care where you get it. Just get protection. Just like you wear your seatbelt  get protection."

 

In addition to getting the flu vaccine experts are also encouraging Mississippian's to make it a practice to wash hands often to prevent the spread of germs. Those at greatest risk include nursing home residents, caregivers and anyone with a compromised immune system.  Lawayne Childrey. MPB News.

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