Take it from the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus: Prevention is better than the cure.

That’s the case with the influenza vaccine this year. Health officials are prepping for a particularly nasty fall and winter with a flu strain already ravaging the Southern Hemisphere.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen but there’s a chance we could have a season similar to Australia,” Dr. Daniel Jernigan, influenza chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press.

The truth is that vaccination is the best tool available for prevention. Getting the flu shot reduces your chance of serious illness. Keep in mind it takes around two weeks for it to work.

Although less than 50 percent of the population was vaccinated last year, everyone 6 months and older should consider getting the shot. The flu more dangerous for the elderly, infants, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.

In Enid, Integris Bass Baptist Health Center is offering free flu shots at its annual health fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 28, at Central National Bank Center Grand Ballroom.

Most insurance covers flu vaccinations. Otherwise, the shot costs under $40 in most cases.

The CDC recommends the following measures to prevent the flu:

• Avoid close contact.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose.

• Clean your hands.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Practice other good health habits.

These tips may remind you of lectures from your parents, but the worthwhile suggestions are practical and could keep you out of the doctor’s office.


- Enid News and Eagle

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