The time of the season

Nov. 30, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

While it has been around for a few months now, this is a crucial part of a particular season that we can't ignore.

Most have had it and are well aware of just how unpleasant it can be.

Of course, we are talking about the flu.

On Thursday, the North Carolina State Health Director confirmed that the state has already had two deaths attributed to influenza — making them the first two of the current flu season.

This latest news should highlight the growing need for residents to receive the all-important flu vaccination.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that under half of all North Carolinians were immunized against the flu during the last season.

As a result, nine people died in North Carolina and close to 25,000 died nationwide in the season that ended in May.

During World War I, influenza was deemed a threat to national security after scores of soldiers died from catching the bug in the trenches. That put the U.S. government on high alert and made combating the virus a top priority.

Now, decades later, the concern for catching the virus, while not as deadly now, should be just as important.

That should spotlight the necessity of getting a flu shot.

According to the CDC, the flu is "a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death." It's symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and others.

The flu can lead to other, more serious conditions like bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

Vaccination is highly recommended for pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, young children and, the elderly.

However, we want to take this opportunity to encourage all residents to receive a flu vaccination.

The instance of a needle prick to the skin is well worth avoiding contracting a common, while potentially dangerous, virus.

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