Fighting the flu

Health officials are optimistic about this year's flu season. Vaccine supplies are not in short supply. Health officials do not anticipate a major problem with the H1N1 flu virus that afflicted many last year.

According to the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, anyone older than 6 months is eligible to receive the flu shot.

While some may dismiss the flu, it's wise to take extra precautions. The flu is responsible for 23,000 deaths annually, and about 200,000 individuals are hospitalized each year, according to the Missouri Department of Health.

Advice for preventing the flu: Wash your hands, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and stay home if you are sick.

In Cape Girardeau County, flu shots will be available for $20 at several locations: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the University of Missouri Extension Center in Jackson; 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Osage Community Centre in Cape Girardeau; daily, beginning Oct. 12, at the Cape Girardeau County Health Department; 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Delta Community Center in Delta. Other businesses in the area will also be offering the vaccine.

Prepare yourself to stay healthy this flu season.