Perhaps you might call it a sign for the season, flu season, that is. Although flu season generally starts in October, it usually peaks in Mississippi and Alabama around December.
However, health care officials say one of the best ways to avoid the virus is by getting a flu shot now.
"Well, it takes two weeks for the immunity to build up," said Dr. Rebecca James of the Mississippi Department of Health. "And even though the flu only makes most of us miserable, it can be deadly. There still are about 36,000 in the U.S. who die from the flu every year."
Health care officials say most of those flu-related deaths involve the very old, young or sickly. That's why they say it's so important for those individuals and people who frequently interact with them to get the shot.
Health care officials say frequent hand washing and the use of sanitizers is very important in helping to avoid the spread of flu. After all, they say studies have shown that more germs are often found on surfaces such as on telephones than on toilets.
Despite what some might think, health care officials say you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Instead they say often people who develop flu systems shortly after getting the shot do so because the vaccine has not had at least two weeks to take effect.