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'Tis the (flu) season

The kids are back in school and learning to share.

Unfortunately, they’re sharing more than pens, paper and the occasional coveted lunchbox treat; they’re also sharing germs. In an effort to remain healthy through the winter while continuing the sharing cycle, King County Public Health encourages everyone to get a flu shot.

The flu season generally runs from November through March, according to King County Public Health. This year’s flu vaccine is formulated to protect against the H1N1 virus, which caused much illness and media hype last season, and two other flu viruses that are currently making the rounds.

Immunization is just a first step toward prevention, warns the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Avoid touching the face, stay away from sick people, and wash hands as other important steps to stay flu-free this year.

If you find yourself or another family member down with flu-like symptoms, avoid contact with others, stay home, drink plenty of fluids and take antiviral drugs if prescribed by a doctor. Seek emergency care if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, pressure in the chest or persistent vomiting.

Get a flu shot

Here are local drug stores and pharmacies offering flu shots this season:

• Rite Aid (North end)

3023 78th Ave. S.E.

9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday

9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday

Cost: $24.99 without insurance. Call 236-0776 for more information.

• Rite Aid (South end)

8441 S.E. 68th Street

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday

Cost: $24.99 without insurance. Call 275-4787 for more information.

• Walgreens

(206) 232-1197, 7707 S.E. 27th #100

8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday

9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday

Cost: $29.99 without insurance. Call 232-1197 for more information.

• Albertsons

(206) 232-2222, 2755 77th Ave. S.E.

9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday

9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday

Cost: $26.99 without insurance. Call 232-2222 for more information.

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