Mississippi physicians are urging people to protect themselves from the severe side effects of the flu by getting vaccinated. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.
Mississippi is in the heart of the flu season and the virus is active throughout the state. That's according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. He says people should see their physician if they are concerned that they have it.
“You know it’s impossible to know if you have the flu versus another virus,” said Dobbs. “And so for that reason it’s very important to touch base with your physician or provider because there are tests that can be done. And there are treatments for flus.”
Dr. Joyce Olutade is with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She encourages people to get the flu shot and says the greatest misconception about influenza is that you can get it from the vaccination. And she says although the vaccine isn't perfect it's still the most significant way to keep yourself from contracting the flu.
“What we found out is that people who are vaccinated, if they do still get the infection, it tends to be milder,” said Olutade. “They are less likely to get hospitalized. And even if they get hospitalized they are less likely to end up in the intensive care unit.”
Tips on what you can do to protect yourself and others from the illness include washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying at home so you don't infect other people. Flu season can last as late as May.