Some things about winter never change.
There will likely be snow.
And people you know (or maybe even you) will get the flu.
With positive cases of the flu as well as a lot of influenza-like illness being reported in Marion County, it’s important to do everything possible to stay healthy.
Earlier this month, officials at the Marion County Health Department said 31 cases of the flu had been reported locally. Of those cases, almost all were influenza type A, and many were H1N1, which is a strain of influenza type A. The county also had received 107 reports of influenza-like illness.
Patients are diagnosed with influenza-like illness when they have a fever of 100 degrees or higher along with a cough or sore throat, but no other symptoms. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, chills and headaches, and just feeling bad and general malaise.
And with flu season typically lasting through March, there are still plenty of steps you can take to help ensure you don’t get sick.
Health officials have long touted getting a flu shot as the best defense against the flu. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, vaccination against the flu can reduce the chances of flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed work due to flu as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone, but especially for children, people over 65, pregnant women and individuals with chronic diseases. People with egg allergies or who have had allergic reactions related to the flu vaccine in the past should not get the immunization. In addition, the vaccine should not be given to individuals who have had Guillain-Barre syndrome.
And, as the CDC points out, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The most common side effects from a flu shot are soreness where the shot was given, a low fever or achiness. Those who receive the nasal spray flu vaccine might experience congestion, runny nose, sore throat or cough. Health officials remind patients that side effects are usually mild and short-lived.
Of course, protection doesn’t end with the flu shot. It’s also important to remember some basic courtesies: Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Simple steps like these help prevent getting the flu or making others ill.
And perhaps most important — health officials say if you’re sick, stay home.
The health department, located at 300 Second St. in Fairmont, holds an immunization clinic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday. No appointments are accepted, as these services are for walk-ins only. Once people have received the vaccine, it takes up to two weeks to develop complete immunity and protection.
West Virginia is among 40 states in the U.S. reporting widespread flu activity, and health officials say it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.
With two months of the flu season left, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Some things about winter never change.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
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Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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