The first laboratory confirmed case of Influenza A has been identified in an 11 month old in Hall County. The Central District Health Department advises citizens to get vaccinated and cover coughs.
"Since receiving this report, we have 2 additional laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza in our area," says Katie Wichman, community health nurse at the CDHD. "Influenza is in our community, and all we need to be practicing proper hand washing and coughing/sneezing etiquette to prevent the spread."
Because many cases of the flu are diagnosed based on symptoms it is hard to say how many people have actually contracted the flu. Wichman says, "Nonetheless, Influenza season is in its prime right now."
Symptoms of the flu:
- Fever or feeling feverish/ chills,
- Sore throat,
- Runny or stuffy nose,
- Muscle or body aches,
- Fatigue, and
- Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than in adults.
Ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread:
- Get vaccinated. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine each year.
- Cover your cough. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash hands. Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm running water to kill germs.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are sick. Unless it is for medical reasons, we recommend you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without fever reducing medications).
- Remember: Influenza is a virus, and does not respond to antibiotic therapy. However, antiviral medication is available to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
For more information or to receive your flu shot, call the CDHD at 308.385.5175 or go to www.cdhd.ne.gov.