While it may be a brand new year and everyone is excited about a fresh start, there is something that comes along with this wintery weather that people don't like: The flu. Doctors have said this is the worst outbreak of the flu in more than a decade, especially for babies and older folks.

According to one report, "Every flu season is different, and even healthy people can get very sick from the disease and spread it to others. From 1976 to 2007, estimates of U.S. deaths each year due to flu ranged from 3,000 to 49,000."

Let's be honest, everyone hates getting sick. So, why not just take extra measures to prevent getting attacked by that nasty flu bug?

Here are a few simple tips to staying healthy and keeping the flu away this season:

  • Get a seasonal flu shot. Understand your risk for the flu and, if recommended, get the vaccine when it is available.
  • Wash your hands especially after you cough or sneeze. Frequent hand-washing kills germs and stops the spread of illness.
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue to reduce hand-to-hand transfer of germs.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • To reduce the spread of illness, it is recommended that you stay home for seven days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

Do you still need to get a flu shot? If so, don't wait! Here are a few places where you can get the shot in Tyler and East Texas:

  • Your doctor's office
  • The local pharmacy, such as Walgreens or CVS
  • Northeast Texas Public Health District is offering flu vaccinations at 815 North Broadway in Tyler for $20 for the shot and $25 for the mist, and also accepts Medicare. Also, children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program can receive the flu shot for $8.