Over the past 30 years, the CDC says a low of 3,000 to a high of 49,000 Americans have died each year from an epidemic that hits every fall and winter...the flu.
The virus causes symptoms like fever, aches, chills, congestion, and cough, and it can lead to further complications like Pneumonia. But there is a way to protect yourself, by getting a flu shot before flu activity peaks in January, February, and March.
"I think now is the perfect time, from now through November is the perfect time to get it to insure yourself some immunity to the flu." says Leslie Hull, Pharmacist at Medicap Pharmacy in Meridian.
One local man got his flu shot Friday, and says he got it because he doesn't want to be laid up in bed for a week, and urges everyone else to get their's because he knows what the flu is like from experience.
Gerald Keen tells everyone that, "They should, if they have ever had it before they know how bad it is."
Getting a flu shot is really easy. You just come in, sign a form, he sanitizes the area, you get stuck, it's relatively painless, and that's it. It only takes a couple of minutes and you're protected for the rest of the season.
"You think about it if you will, if you get the flu, a prescription of Tamiflu will cost you $100 and then you still have the flu," said Hull. "You've got to think about those things; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Shots at pharmacies, doctors' offices, and shot clinics usually run around $20, but Medicare Part B and most insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccination.