Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss fighting influenza and realizations about red Missouri

Fight the flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza is the most frequent cause of death in the United States from a vaccine-preventable disease. The 2017-18 influenza season saw 172 pediatric deaths.

Although rates of infection from seasonal influenza are highest among children, risks for complications, hospitalizations and death affect adults 65 and older, children younger than 5 and people of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications.

Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually. The vaccine is effective about two weeks after receiving it.

You might get mild muscle aches after receiving the vaccine, but it does not cause influenza. The effectiveness varies every year.

You can contract influenza after getting the vaccine, but studies suggest you likely would have a milder case and be less likely to be hospitalized.

As a nurse practitioner, I encourage you all to get immunized, be well and protect those who are too young to get immunized.

Ann Mattison

Louisburg

Strange days

It just dawned on me that the overwhelmingly red state of Missouri, the land of President Donald Trump and foes of liberal causes, just voted to legalize marijuana, protect unions, raise the minimum wage, reform ethics rules for the 80 percent Republican legislature and end its gerrymandering.

John Goldsmith

Napoleon, Mo.

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