Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 10, 2014

Still not too late


Kokomo Tribune

---- — THE ISSUE

Work and school during flu season.

OUR VIEW

If a family member falls ill with flu-like symptoms, keep him or her at home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone. No athletic event is too important. No job is so imperative.

 

Last year's national flu epidemic rudely greeted Indiana’s then-new state health commissioner.

On Dr. William VanNess’ first day of work, Gov. Mike Pence asked the retired Anderson physician for a flu vaccination the following week.

“No. You’re getting one tomorrow,” VanNess told the governor.

In the week Pence was inoculated, the state health department reported 17 deaths from flu-related illnesses.

Though Indiana's 2013-14 flu season has not been as ferocious as last year's, it has struck early. Health officials report three deaths as flu-related, and the Centers for Disease Control says its prevalence in the state is widespread.

We know you’re as sick of hearing about flu vaccinations as many of your neighbors are from the bug itself. But we, and our new state health commissioner, will continue to say it: It’s not too late to get that flu shot. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response.

The CDC recommend everyone 6 months and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. School-age children are at a high risk for contracting the flu. Ample supplies for influenza vaccine are available.

But remember, if a family member falls ill with flu-like symptoms, keep him or her at home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.

No athletic event is too important. No job is so imperative.

As a parent, you have a responsibility to this community to isolate a sick child from others.

Ensure your family washes their hands often with soap and water. And implore them to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Flu season is no fun. But if we all use common sense, we’ll get through it with the least amount of pain possible.