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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Next few weeks are prime time to get flu shot

A LITTLE JAB: Flu shots can prevent nasty complications from the disease. / Photo by Jenny Despain

By Jenny Despain

October 24, 2006 | As the leaves continue to turn and snow begins to cover the mountains, flu season is fast approaching.

The Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that every year on average of 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu. Of these people more than 200,000 are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from the virus.

One simple procedure -- the flu vaccine -- could eliminate many of the complications and deaths that result from the flu.

While many people associate the flu with later winter months doctors recommend people get the flu vaccine in October or November. This is because immunity needs to be built up in the body before the flu vaccine is effective. In most people the vaccine takes full effect two weeks to one month after it is put into the body.

"The idea is to get coverage through the end of May" says Lisa Miller, an RN in Bozeman, Mont., who administers the vaccine.

Children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are highly encouraged to get the flu vaccine, however; anyone who wants to decrease their chances of getting the flu this season should get the shot.

"Now days it's pretty much recommended for everyone," says Miller.

The shot is easy to get and is frequently administered on campuses and in office buildings. It is even available at stores like Wal-Mart.

According to the CDC the main way the flu virus spreads is from respiratory droplets in coughs and sneezes. This happens when the droplets of a person's sneeze are carried through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of another person nearby. The virus can also be spread from human contact between objects although this happens less frequently.

Because the specific strains of the flu cannot be determined before flu season, scientists predict which strains have the highest chance of making it to the U.S. in a given year. The killed flu viruses of these strains comprise the flu vaccine. The vaccine is effective when scientists successfully match the strains in the vaccine with the same strains that make it to the U.S.

"Usually they're pretty on," says Miller.

While it is not a sure guarantee, people who get the flu vaccine have a much lower risk of getting the virus. Common sense and practicing good hygiene also aid people in staying healthy through flu season. The CDC recommends people: cover their nose and mouth when sneezing, wash their hands frequently, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of fluids. For more information got to www.cdc.gov/flu.

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