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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention soon will begin issuing its first Weekly FluView Report of flu season.

And because reports of flu in Indiana are sporadic and relatively light for this time of year, it's a good time to schedule a vaccination -- the CDC warns flu activity often rises in October and recommends inoculation near the end of the month.

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 in recent years has peaked in January or February. Why, then, should people get flu shots?

The answer, the experts say, is that in a very few cases, the flu can be a very big deal. It can be deadly. Influenza kills between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans every year.

And the only way to protect yourself from becoming one of those victims is to take the vaccine.

Thus, the advice from the experts is straightforward: Get a vaccination.

What will happen if people ignore that advice? Medical experts say the answer is simple: A lot more people will die.

The flu is no fun. But if we all use common sense, we'll get through it with the least amount of pain possible.

-- Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune

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