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Help keep sickness like flu from spreading

It sure feels like it has been rough flu season for Lincoln County, and the CDC is reporting that Mississippi has been hit hard with a widespread outbreak of influenza.

But local doctors say it is nothing out of the ordinary for the area.

“It’s actually flu-like illnesses that the CDC is showing,” Dr. Blaine Britt said. “So, just because Mississippi is showing a high volume of flu symptoms coming in doesn’t mean it’s actually the flu.”

Doctors say it is not too late to get the flu vaccine, which reduces the occurrence of flu by 40-60 percent. Flu season lasts through the spring.

“A flu shot is still the most effective preventative tool for dealing with the flu,” Britt said.

Those who think they may have the flu should visit a clinic in order to rule out something more serious and to get a prescription for an antiviral drug that can help reduce the severity of the flu.

When it comes to preventing flu, the CDC recommends getting a vaccine and taking steps to stop the spread of germs, such as:

• Avoid close contact with sick people.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.

If you have flu-like symptoms, the CDC also recommends staying home for 24 hours after the fever is gone to avoid infecting others.

These simple steps can help reduce the spread of the flu. That’s something we can all work toward.