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COUNTY LIFE

Oct. 1 Texas Influenza Awareness Day

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With cold and flu season beginning and COVID-19 still spreading in Texas, now is a perfect time to get a flu shot. The Texas Department of State Health Services encourages everyone to protect themselves, their families and their communities against respiratory illness throughout the flu season by getting immunized as soon as possible.

While the flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, it will slow the circulation of flu in Texas and keep people out of the hospital, conserving medical resources needed to care for COVID-19 patients.

“We want as few people as possible to get sick this fall and winter,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “That protects our health care professionals and health care system, which is key to defeating both COVID-19 and the flu. In addition, the same precautions Texans are already taking against COVID-19 – wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene – will help slow the spread of influenza.”

Getting a flu shot is especially important for people at a higher risk for complications if they do get the flu, including those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and older adults. People who provide care to members of those groups should get a flu shot to protect themselves and to prevent spreading the flu to vulnerable people they care for in their families and communities.

Influenza is caused by a number of related viruses. Symptoms usually start suddenly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer.

DSHS encourages people to seek treatment promptly if they are experiencing flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of when symptoms begin.

Almost all types of flu vaccine available in the United States this flu season will protect against four strains of the flu virus: two strains of influenza A and two of influenza B. People can contact their health care provider, local health department or local pharmacy to find out where flu shots are available.

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COUNTY LIFE

Animal shelter volunteers selected as parade grand marshals

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Bowie Community Development Board announces the 31st Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade Grand Marshals as the Friends of the Bowie Animal Shelter – Joellen Stark, Valerie Evans, Valerie Wise, Chesney Bullard and Melodye Massey along with Shelter HEARTS Julie O’Neal and Holly Bullock, Animal Control Officer Willy Conway and Police Commander Lynetta Slaton.
The lighted parade committee has asked for animal shelter donations as the kennels are full of dogs looking for adoption. There will be a donation box at the parade entry station at Tarrant and Mill Street as floats line up for the parade as well as a donation box by the Mason Street stage on Dec. 3.
This year’s grand marshals were selected for their constant dedication to the animal shelter and its animals.

Read the full story about the grand marshals and the upcoming events in your weekend Bowie News.

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COUNTY LIFE

Sip & Stroll once more draws record participation

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Warm up to the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Festival with the popular preview night featuring “Winter Lights Sip and Stroll With Me” on Dec. 2.
Participating businesses are encouraged to decorate with holiday lights. Prizes will be given to first, second and third-place winners.
Once more Sip and Stroll is experiencing a record-breaking number of participants with 31 businesses registered for the event. Bowie Economic Development also is planning its open house from 4-6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at its office at 101 E. Pecan.
Guests attending the Sip and Stroll are asked to purchase armbands and glasses for $10 at any of the participating merchants. Strollers also may use their previous Sip & Stroll glasses but must purchase an armband.
Throughout the evening stroll the decorated downtown streets that sparkle as they await the arrival of the Christmas festival the next day.

Read the full story with all the participants in your weekend Bowie News.

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COUNTY LIFE

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Volunteers braved the cold last Saturday to hang decorations in downtown Bowie in the annual Hanging of the Green event hosted by Bowie Community Development.
Since it was so chilly outside the event coordinators used Debbie Herriage as a lamp post to approximately how the decorations are hung. Debbie was a good sport as everyone got lined up before going outside. (Photos by Barbara Green)
Volunteers picked up their supplies and hit downtown to dress it up for Christmas.
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