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Flu Season

Everyone should be vaccinated

Yes, we know: We have hammered repeatedly on the importance of getting a flu shot to protect not just yourself but also those you come in contact with against influenza. Why, then, have we written another one?

Because a child in West Virginia died of influenza last week. Reportedly, the five-year old, who has not been identified, perished in the emergency room at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Of course, no one knows how the child caught the flu. But it may have been from an adult who, though unvaccinated, was able to battle the disease but transmitted it to the youngster.

State Chief Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp said families with children older than 6 months of age are encouraged to have them vaccinated against the flu.

But as we have pointed out, it also is important for those who come in contact with people, such as children, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions, to get the shot.

If you have not done so, please get the flu shot — for the children’s sake.

•••

Among aces-in-the-hole we West Virginians possess in terms of both economic development and quality of life is West Virginia University Medicine, which includes numerous health care programs. Just last week, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute revealed a fully robotic aortic valve replacement was performed at the facility in Morgantown.

The procedure has been performed only nine times. The operation in Morgantown was the first in the northeastern United States.

Doctors explain the procedure allows patients to avoid more invasive surgery and may permit quicker recovery.

Health care advances at WVU Medicine are announced regularly — meaning we West Virginians are in the forefront of important advances. That is good for Mountain State residents now, and may well be one of the keys to economic development.

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