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Protect yourself against the flu

By Amber Roberts
Published On: Jan 09 2014 10:56:43 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 11:39:56 PM CST
NORTH CAROLINA -

State health officials announced 21 people have died from the seasonal flu outbreak. Of those who died, two of them were adults over the age of 65, and 19 of them were young and middle aged adults.

Health officials say there are ways to protect yourself from the flu.

Trey Paul, Pharmacy Manager at Realo Discount Drugs, said the best method of protection against the flu is vaccination, but there are other things people can do to ward the flu off.

Some of the suggestions Paul gave were washing your hands regularly and staying away from people who are sick. Other health experts tips: Avoid touching parts of your body, such as your mouth, nose and eyes to limit the spread of germs; When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue; Keep sanitizers and disinfecting wipes on hand; And wipe down commonly touched surfaces.

Flu season typically peaks during January and February, said state health officials. 

At the end of December, John Wiggins of Vanceboro was hospitalized for the flu for two days at CarolinaEast Medical Center. Wiggins, who is 41-years old with four children, said he's considering getting the shot for the first time.

"There were some times there when I was feeling worse than I ever felt before, so hearing that people have passed away from it makes you think," Wiggins said. "I probably would consider getting it [the flu shot] for the fact that I don't want to get that experience again, I don't want to feel like that again."

Wiggins said he experienced body pains, dehydration and vomiting while suffering from the flu. Experts say other signs include a fever, sore throat and body chills.

Wiggins said although he hasn't been vaccinated, his children were vaccinated before he got sick.

For those who are interested in getting the flu shot, if your insurance doesn't cover the vaccination, the shot typically cost around $25, said Pharmacist Paul.