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Flu Season Is Here: Time To Get Your Shot

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) It's that time of the year again, flu season is upon us.

And the center for disease control says the virus is popping up all over the country.

Joey martin for Idaho’s First News takes a look at what the outlook's like here in southern Idaho?

Although it's just the beginning, the CDC is already reporting widespread influenza infection rates in several states.

States like Alabama, Louisiana and New York are seeing high numbers.

But Texas is leading the pack... Reporting at least 5 deaths from the H1N1 strain, also known as swine flu.

But what about here in southern Idaho?

"Actually just last week we had a couple drive up for vacation from Texas and they actually brought the swine flu with them. So it is actually here in Idaho now from Texas."
Said Mark Popwell a Walgreens pharmacist.

With the H1N1 virus on the move, protecting yourself from the flu is now more important than ever.

The majority of hospitalizations for influenza occur in people 65 years and older.

And the majority of deaths occur within that same age range.

"There are certain individuals that are more at risk for severe consequences as a result of influenza. So those people need to take specific precautions like getting their influenza vaccinations"
Said Cheryle Becker, from the South Central Public Health.

Health officials say if you haven't gotten a flu shot yet... Now is the time.

And here in twin falls, Walgreens pharmacy is making the process of receiving that shot, an easy one.

"You just walk in a say hey, I either want a flu shot or a pneumonia or whatever shot you need. Well hand you a form to fill out and then it just takes a few minutes to answer the questions and then we give you a shot."
Said Popwell.

Along with receiving your annual flu shot.

Health experts say there are other simple steps you can take to stay healthy.

"People need to make sure that they are washing their hands is the number one thing to prevent any kind of illness. Then stay home when you're sick. Cover your mouth when you cough.
Said Becker.

Those three things will help you and those around you stay healthy during the flu season.

Walgreens has already given about 1,500 flu shots this season.

If you would like to get a flu shot you can stop by the local Walgreens pharmacy.

Insurance will cover almost 100% of the cost.

Walgreens also has a program for those who are uninsured; they will be able to get vaccinated free of charge.


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