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Ketchikan comes up with all kinds of ways to help others.

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Michael James Zelensky, 58, died Aug. 2, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Janet E. Boyce, 71, died Aug. 8, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Jane M. Leding, 90, died Feb. 6, 2014, in Seattle.
11/26/2012
Time for shots

You are lucky if you haven’t been in contact with someone with the flu lately.

But we can do something about protecting ourselves from getting the flu or spreading it: Get a vaccination.

The state Department of Health and Social Services says that’s the best way to arm ourselves against influenza, which always sees an increase during the holidays when people gather — and viruses spread.

In addition to getting a flu shot, people should wash their hands frequently, cover coughs with a sleeve or tissue, practice good hygiene — and for the love of Pete, stay home if you are sick.

While getting the flu shot, you might look into a vaccination against whooping cough, as well. The department says more than 200 cases of pertussis have been reported this year so far, in contrast to an annual average of 42 for the previous three years. Children should receive five diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccines between the ages of 2 months and 4 to 6 years. Then beginning at age 11, everyone should get a one-time booster shot.

Now is the time to get a flu shot. It will protect you, and helps to protect the rest of us, as well. The fewer people who contract these contagious diseases, the fewer people the disease can spread to.