SANTA MARIA - Its that time of year again and local public health officials say getting a flu shot should be everyone's top priority.
"There's some concern that this may be a little bit more of an intense year than last year", says Santa Barbara County's Public Health Department Director Dr. Peter Hasler.
Dr. Hasler says its particularly important for the elderly, especially those with respiratory problems or other issues that compromise the body's immune system.
"The vaccine isn't perfect", Dr. Hasler says, "there's lot of people who will not get the vaccine so there's lots of people out there who can transmit the flu you."
Its an annual rite of flu season for seniors we spoke with.
"Every year, every year", says Santa Maria resident Teresa Graves, "my husband got sick with the flu one year and he thought he was going to die, I mean he was sick for a week, so after that we started getting our flu shots."
"It's peace of mind", adds Santa Maria resident Ruthe Traxler, "and I have a little dog to take care of so I have to be well."
For most everyone else, personal hygiene can go a long way in fighting the virus.
At work be sure to wipe down your office computer keyboard, mouse and telephone with anti-bacterial wipes, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands as much as possible.
"The primary method of transmission in the community is, you touch something that has the virus on it, then you touch your nose or your mouth and you become infected", adds Dr. Hasler.
Most pharmacies are offering flu shots and they may be covered by insurance policies.
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