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    With the cold weather, the ongoing flu season and an unexpected mumps outbreak in North Texas, there are plenty of health issues to stay aware of this holiday season. Rest assured that we and our partners in health, which include area hospitals and clinics, are being vigilant and mindful of these issues.
    Here are some personal safety tips everyone should be aware of, as well as some home safety tips, should local temperatures drop and stay low for several consecutive days.
    Though mumps typically affects children, the current outbreak includes some adults. While symptoms differ, both mumps and the flu are spread through droplets expelled from a sick person who is coughing or sneezing.
    So it's important that everyone practice good hygiene. That means washing your hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping a safe distance from those who are sick, staying home if you are sick, and getting a flu shot as soon as possible --preferable BEFORE you get sick. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become fully effective once inside your body, so don't delay.
    We offer low-cost flu vaccine at our public health clinics. Flu shots are also available at most local pharmacies.
    Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday!


    Veerinder (Vinny) Taneja

    Tarrant County Public Health Director