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The Observer Paper 12/17/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow OUR VIEW: Itís not too late to get vaccinated

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OUR VIEW: Itís not too late to get vaccinated

Fever. Cough. Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Body aches. Headaches. Fatigue. Vomiting.

All are symptoms of the flu, and who would want to go through all that when an healthy alternative is readily available?

Flu season runs from October through May. Although the best time to get flu shots in probably October, local authorities say, even at the end of January, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. 

The best way to prevent the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is to get a flu
vaccination each year.

Yet some people still resist getting the shot. Influenza viruses are widespread in Oregon this winter, and Grande Ronde Hospital saw an influx of flu cases around the first of the year. That influx has calmed some, now, but the hospital is still encouraging its patients to limit visitors, especially those younger than 18, who may carry the flu virus without knowing they are sick.

The hospital anticipates another peak of flu cases coming soon, which is why getting the flu vaccine is still important. 

Although there are no current flu epidemics in Union and Wallowa county schools, numerous districts have encountered significant levels of illness this winter, affecting students and teachers.

Throughout history, flu has been a major killer. The deadliest flu pandemic in modern history, in 1918 and 1919, saw about one in four people in the U.S. get sick and some 675,000 people die.

In recent history, the flu has been better corralled by more aggressive vaccinations being available to everyone who wants them.

There are five ways to fight the flu. Getting the vaccine is just one of them. The others are washing your hands often, avoiding touching your hands, nose and mouth, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and not on your hands, and staying home from school or work if you do come down with the flu.

The hospital is encouraging anyone older than 6 months to get a vaccination. People older than 6 months who haven’t had the flu shot should get one to protect not only themselves from the flu but also the entire community.

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