Flu shots available through Mercy Tiffin Hospital

With the Ohio Department of Health reporting a widespread increase in influenza across the state, Mercy Tiffin Hospital is advising of the signs and symptoms of the flu, and to take precautions to help prevent its spread.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. People who have the flu often feel symptoms including fever or feverish/chills, cough; sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus spreads mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

Proper hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the flu. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Mercy Tiffin Hospital is to host a flu shot clinic 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 26 at McMullen Conference Center for everyone age 6 and up. The cost for a flu shot is $20. Bring a current college ID for $5 off. No appointment is necessary.

The flu vaccine also is available at Mercy Occupational Health, 437 W. Market St., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. No appointment is necessary.