The first cases of the flu have been confirmed in Mississippi by the State Department of Health. Health officials say the strain circulating is influenza A and it is covered by this year's flu vaccine.
In a news release from the health department, doctors urge Mississippians not to delay being vaccinated.
"We are now starting to see confirmed flu cases in Mississippi. This not only indicates that flu has been detected in the state, but it also serves as a reminder that now is the best time to get your flu shot," said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. "The flu shot takes one to two weeks to produce immunity, and although flu season usually peaks in January through March, it sometimes reaches high levels as early as December."
The flu vaccine is currently available at most doctors' offices as well as all county health departments. Health officials emphasize good hygiene during cold and flu season. That includes frequent hand washing, coughing into your sleeve and staying home when you are sick to decrease the risk of infection to others.