JACKSON, Miss. – On October 23, 2019 the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported its first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza for the 2019-2020 flu season.
“Although last year’s flu season was not particularly severe,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “Nationwide, the 2017-2018 flu season killed 183 children, three of whom were in Mississippi, and an estimated 80,000 adults. Influenza is a serious illness that should not be taken lightly.”
Pediatric flu shots are now available at all Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) county clinics. Seasonal flu vaccination is recommended for anyone ages six months and older to prevent the spread of flu, and more importantly, save lives.
Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can receive a flu vaccination for $10. Insurance, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is accepted for children’s flu shots.
Adults who are underinsured or uninsured and who meet certain high-risk criteria qualify for an adult flu vaccination at MSDH county health department clinics. Flu shots for insured adults are now widely available through private physicians, pharmacies and retail centers.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. Most people recover from the flu without complications, but nationwide there are up to 200,000 hospitalizations from flu each year.
To locate a county health department clinic in your area or for more information on flu, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com/flu.