ELLISVILLE, MS. (WDAM) - With seasonal influenza claiming thousands of American lives each year, the virus is something everybody needs to be aware of.
Thomas Dobbs is the State Department of Health's Officer for the Pine Belt region. On Friday, he gave an in depth presentation about the flu to a crowd of Jones County Junior College students.
Dobbs said effective ways to stop the spread of flu include, "Covering up your mouth and your face when you are coughing or sneezing because it's those aerosolized droplets or even those particles flying though the air that land on other people or on surfaces where people can pick it up. So if we can limit the exposure in the environment, that does a whole lot in preventing transmission."
Dobbs's JCJC presentation was made possible through the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter, an on campus honors society. Justin Sumrall is a JCJC sophomore and President of Phi Theta Kappa.
Sumrall said, "Well I think that with last year, the H1N1 scare, everybody just got more serious about influenza."
The chapter has other activities planned such as an upcoming free flu vaccination drive for students. That vaccine is something Dobbs recommends.
"The CDC has changed the recommendations this year such that anyone over the age of six months should get the flu vaccine. And this year fortunately there is only one flu vaccine, which makes it a lot easier" said Dobbs.
A single comprehensive vaccine will protect against both classic flu strains and the so called swine flu.