Mississippi confirms first flu case of 2015-16 season

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State health officials are reporting the first case of influenza confirmed for the 2015-2016 flu season.

The Mississippi State Department of Health, in a news release Monday, said the patient is from Northeast Mississippi.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs says the confirmation by the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory serves as a reminder that it's not too late to get a flu shot. Seasonal flu vaccination is recommended for anyone age six months and older. Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program or the Children's Health Insurance Program can receive the shot for $10.

Dobbs says the Mississippi flu season usually peaks in January through March. Nationwide, an estimated 49,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu.

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