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EDITORIAL: On your Christmas list: Flu and COVID booster shots

Posted 11/12/22

A growing number of school districts across the country are canceling classes due to illness among students and staff. Some of the districts were closed Friday and resumed classes on Monday. Others …

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EDITORIAL: On your Christmas list: Flu and COVID booster shots

Posted

A growing number of school districts across the country are canceling classes due to illness among students and staff.

Some of the districts were closed Friday and resumed classes on Monday. Others waited until after Tuesday’s general election to reopen.

The drastic increase in the number of people who are sick serves as a good reminder to get your flu shot and COVID vaccine/booster.

Signs and symptoms of the flu typically occur suddenly and are intense, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They include fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which is more common in children.

Statistics from the CDC note that more than 18 million Americans caught the flu in the 2019-20 season. Of that number, 410,000+ were hospitalized and more than 24,000 flu-related deaths were reported.

Though the flu virus is a serious viral disease it is preventable. Experts recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older — especially those at high risk for serious flu-related complications or those who live with or care for people at high risk — receive the flu shot once a year as soon as its available. Flu season usually peaks around January or February.

In addition to getting vaccinated, other preventative measures — as we all learned during the COVID pandemic — include social distancing, proper hand washing, masking and staying home when you don’t feel well.

By now, we all know the drill. Do your part to help stop the spread of the flu and COVID — not just now but for the holidays and months to come. If you haven’t done so, get your annual flu shot and/or COVID booster now before the holiday season.

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