Flu season is just around the corner in Wilson County, but there are lots of ways that the Tennessee Department of Health and Wilson County Health Department recommend fighting off the potentially deadly illness.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there have already been several reports of the flu and one pediatric death from the flu reported this season.

"There are tons of ways you can prevent the flu," said Tim Diffenderfer, the director of the Wilson County Health Department. "For starters, just washing your hands and getting your flu shot."

Michelle Fiscus, the medical director for the Tennessee Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program at the Tennessee Department of Health, urges everybody to get a flu shot.

"Always get vaccinated," Fiscus said. "Even if an individual still gets the flu, the vaccine makes it less likely they will become severely ill or die from the infection."

Fiscus also reminds people that flu shots don't only benefit the person receiving the shot, but also everyone around them.

"Some people cannot be vaccinated because they're too young or they're allergic to the vaccine," Fiscus said. "It's important that those who can be vaccinated get vaccinated. Even if someone thinks they don't need to be protected, someone else is depending on them to get vaccinated."

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Many people, especially young children and the elderly can become severely ill from the flu. Fiscus urges people to get flu shots to protect babies and the elderly in their communities, who they could come in contact with.

"Young children and the elderly are at very high risk of developing serious complications from flu," Fiscus said. "The best way to protect people at high risk is to vaccinate them and to make sure those around them are vaccinated as well."

There are many places across Wilson County where people can get their flu shot -- sometimes for free.

"The flu vaccine is readily available at any grocery store pharmacy, retail pharmacy, local health department and most doctor's offices," Fiscus said. "Flu vaccine is also offered free-of-charge as an employee benefit from many companies."

Free flu shots will be available at the Wilson County Fair Grounds on Nov. 19 from 2-6 p.m., according to the Wilson County Health Department.

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