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Editorial: Protect yourself from the flu

It’s finally here! No, not the Super Bowl, we’re talking about Influenza, and we are at the peak of its season.

Right now, the flu is widespread in 49 states, Georgia especially getting hit hard. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), there have been over 307 influenza hospitalizations and five deaths in a matter of 14 weeks.

“This is the first year we have had the entire continental U.S. be the same color on the graph, meaning there is widespread activity in all of the continental U.S. at this point,” said Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Seasonal flu is described by a sudden onset of fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, severe tiring, sore throat and even a runny nose. The cough can be malicious and can last two or more weeks. Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention, but that’s not always the case.

So how can you make sure you survive the season?

Flu vaccines are available at CVS, Walgreen’s, your local doctor offices and even the Student Health Center (S.H.C.)

It costs $10 and is payable by flex, cash, or check at the SHC. The flu shot takes two weeks to provide protection, so take this time to stop by the S.H.C. or call (229) 219-3200 to schedule an appointment.

The Centers for Disease Control and The Spectator staff also recommends:

A yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

Avoiding close contact with sick people.

Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Washing your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread easily this way.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

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