Time to get that vaccine
Influenza is usually perceived as nothing more than a minor inconvenience to our daily lives.
However North Carolina, along with several other states, has experienced an outbreak that has neared record levels.
As of the latest report by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the state is seeing over 10 percent infection of flu-like illnesses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the flu is widespread in 46 states, including North and South Carolina.
As a result of the outbreak, Rutherford Regional Health System continues to have restricted visitation at the hospital in Rutherfordton.
Needless to say, this outbreak of the flu is certainly nothing to be trifled with.
The Rutherford-McDowell-Polk County Health Department does not have a way to track flu cases in the area, but health officials have said that this region has been hit just as hard as other areas of North Carolina.
And, across the state, the amount of flu-like cases has risen over 2 percent in the last month, making this one of the most active flu seasons in recent decades.
While in the past, like we said, most look at the flu as just an inconvenience for a few days, this outbreak tends to be different.
There have been different reported strains of the flu, making combating the illness that much more difficult.
The message here is very simple: Get your flu shot.
You may think it is not necessary or, you have already had the flu so there is no need.
Both assumptions are grossly incorrect.
Just because you have had it once certainly does not mean you can't get it again.
As far as the vaccine being necessary, if you have been vaccinated and still get the flu, doctors say that the term of the illness can be greatly reduced because of the vaccine.
This outbreak has also been proven to be deadly.
In the most recent reports, the state has said that 12 people in North Carolina have died from flu-like illnesses.
So, while you might believe that you don't need it or, if you get it it will pass, you may be taking your life in your own hands when it isn't necessary.
With that, we encourage everyone in Rutherford County — especially children and the elderly — if you haven't received a flu vaccination, do so.
It might just save your life.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark