In last week’s column, I discussed several great opportunities that take place during the fall season. One event that is not great at all is the flu season! While it isn’t possible to predict exactly what the flu season will be like, we know that flu spread every year. Flu outbreaks can happen as early as October and can last as late as May, typically peaking between December and February.
The best way to protect yourself from flu is to get at flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot for everyone 6 months of age and older. Children younger than 6 months are a higher risk of serious flu complications but are too young to get the vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flue is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months, you should get a flu shot to help protect them. Of course, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated against flu soon after the vaccine become available, which is NOW! It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection. Children ages 6 months through age 8 need two doses, which should be given at least four weeks apart.
While it is impossible to predict a good match between the vaccine and the viruses, the vaccine is made to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will likely be most common during the season. Experts must pick which viruses to include in the vaccine many months in advance in order for the vaccine to be produced and delivered on time. Unfortunately, flu viruses change constantly – from one season to the next, or even change during the course of a flu season. For this reason, there is the possibility that the vaccine doesn’t always match the virus. This happened last year, as you may recall. However, even if the vaccine is not a “good match” for the viruses, it still provides some protection against the illness. For this reason, the CDC continues to recommend getting the flu vaccine.
Fall Festival Arts & Crafts Show
Several Hopkins County Fall Festival events have been highlighted in recent days, so I wanted to highlight one more! The Arts &Crafts Show is a unique event for crafters & artisans to sell their handmade, handcrafted, hand-painted items. The deadline has been extended in order to allow more vendors to take advantage of this opportunity. The event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, in the Sulphur Springs High School cafeteria, north entry way, and north grounds.
A few indoor spaces remain, so if you or someone you know would like to set up a booth, let me know. Vendors do not have to be from Hopkins County. As a matter of fact, we have numerous exhibitors that travel long distances to take part in the Arts & Crafts Show each year!
Fees vary according to the size and location of the space, as well as age. (There is a slight break in price for those over the age of 60.) Guidelines and application forms are available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Sulphur Springs, 1200-B W. Houston, or online at http://hopkins.agrilife.org, click on ‘publications.’
If you are not interested in being a vendor, come shop! There will be some unique, hand-crafted items that can’t be bought in stores. I always do some of my Christmas shopping during this event!
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves – Ray Kroc
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax