Take the flu seriously [Editorial]

The flu is nothing to mess with.

There have been horrible stories from all over the country of children getting sick and dying because of the flu. Older people are just as susceptible to the illness as the young, if not more so.

It wasn’t in Harford County, but Maryland recently had its first death caused by the flu.

This flu season, according to some health officials, has become a pandemic, again, that’s elsewhere, but not here. At least it hasn’t yet.

That’s why the move announced Monday by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health officials to limit visitation at Harford County’s two hospitals was especially prudent.

These restrictions on visitors are neither unprecedented, nor an annual occurrence. When they’re instituted that’s a sign to the Harford County community that it’s past time to get serious about the flu and to do what you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Most people who get the flu feel pretty badly for a little while and then they get back to normal. For some - the old, the weak, the infirm - it can be a death sentence.

“Limiting visitation and community events at the hospital is preventing the spread of the flu for those with weakened immune systems. Not only do we support the hospital in this decision, we also continue to work together to focus our efforts on the health and safety of Harford County residents," Dr. Russell W. Moy, Harford County health officer, said. “It's imperative to remember how quickly and easily the flu spreads and take proper precautions to avoid getting sick.”

We couldn’t have said it any better.

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