Avoiding the flu is a good idea

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

Back in my younger years, being sick was just part of every school year.

I can recall several cold and flu seasons where I suffered from one illness or the other multiple times. It wasn’t fun.

While being able to stay home in bed as opposed to attending class was appealing, the state of health in which that became a reality was nothing less than excruciating.

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Runny or stuffy nose, constant coughing and body aches are no way to spend a day “off.”

As an adult, being sick typically occurs less often, more than likely due to the added antibodies that build up in our systems as a result of fighting off previous illnesses.

But a cold or the flu can still strike any one of us at any time, so it’s good to know there are some precautions we can take to limit our exposure to viruses that would do us harm, such as a flu shot.

However, late this week the second pediatric death from the flu was reported by the Mississippi Department of Health.

That makes the eighth death associated with the illness since 2008.

Across our country, there have been a total of 84 pediatric flu related deaths just this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.

Most pediatric deaths were reported in children who did not get their flu shot, according to the Health Department’s release.

To have a shot that can protect us from an illness like the flu is a testament to the technological advancements of our age.

But there’s a concern, the CDC reported earlier this month that this year’s shot is only 36 percent effective in protecting us from this virus.

And recent news articles report that next year’s shot will not be much more effective.

If we really want to entice people to protect themselves with the flu shot, its effectiveness, needs to be increased.