Are you fleeing the flu?

It's a big problem in just about all the states, including South Dakota.

State health officials said this week nine people in South Dakota have died from the flu this season, all of them over the age of 75.

State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says you can protect yourself by, among other things, washing your hands or using an alcohol-based gel.

He says, and this is good advice any time, to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and--we sometimes forget this one--stay home if you're sick.

Now, I'm in what they call a high-risk group, being diabetic, and at my age I'd like to think I'm not yet elderly.

But I know I'm vulnerable, and I got my flu shot last fall.

We had something going around a year ago, with lots of people sick, and I missed six days of work with pretty much no voice at all.

There are those who might say that was a good thing, but it wasn't fun.

So you can still take precautions, and with the flu a big and growing concern in our area and around the country, it's the right thing to do.