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Published September 16, 2009, 03:00 PM

Health officials urge people to be vigilant against the flu

FARGO – Flu season is here and public health officials are urging people to be doubly vigilant this year, warning them to take precautions against both the seasonal bug and new swine flu virus.

By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM

FARGO – Flu season is here and public health officials are urging people to be doubly vigilant this year, warning them to take precautions against both the seasonal bug and new swine flu virus.

Unlike seasonal influenza, the H1N1 flu virus strikes children, young adults and pregnant women in the greatest numbers, officials said today.

Vaccination is one important preventive step. Seasonal flu vaccines are available, and those who are elderly or suffer from chronic illnesses should get the vaccine, health officials said.

Dr. John Baird of Fargo Cass Public Health said a vaccine for H1N1 virus is expected to be ready by mid-October.

Symptoms for both are similar to a cold: fever, body aches and pains, a cough that, in the case of H1N1, seems to surface several days into the illness, according to Ruth Bachmeier, who heads Fargo Cass Public Health.

Meanwhile, people are reminded to take the usual precautions to help stop the spread of a flu virus:

- Cover your cough, preferably with a tissue.

- Wash your hands frequently and try to avoid touching your nose or mouth.

- Stay home from work or school if you’re sick.

For more details, read The Forum Thursday.

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