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1/24/2013 Public Health Nurse: No flu cases confirmed

 

While Colorado is currently experiencing significant flu activity, there have been no confirmed cases of influenza in Custer County, says Gail Stoltzfus of the Custer County Public Health Agency.

 Influenza activity continues to increase in the United States, and most of the country is now experiencing high levels of influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest FluView report.

 Therefore, those folks who have yet to be vaccinated this season are encouraged to do so.

Stoltzfus said so far this season a total of 750 flu shots have been administered in Custer County. The total includes youth and adults.

And, said Stoltzfus, the local public health office still has an adequate supply of vaccine, so it’s no too late to call and make an appointment.

She also noted it’s hard to predict the timing of influenza but it is likely flu activity will continue a while longer.

As of Jan. 12, Colorado has reported a total of 674 cases from 36 counties in which people have been hospitalized due to flu.

Also, there have been four pediatric deaths in the state due to complications related to the flu.

Additionally, said Stoltzfus, it takes two weeks after getting the flu shot for a person to build up the immunity, so getting the shot sooner than later is a good idea.

The flu vaccine is recommended for children at least six months of age; those with chronic health conditions; women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant; American Indian and Alaska Natives; people who are morbidly obese; residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities; health care professionals; household contacts and caregivers of children younger than five; and adults 50 and older.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.

Immediate health care should be sought for children with fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking adequate fluids, not waking up or interacting, fever with a rash, and flu-like symptoms improving then a return with a fever or worsened cough.

 Adults should also seek immediate health care if experiencing the following flu-like symptoms: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion and severe or persistent vomiting.

Folks can help protect themselves from the flu by covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; washing hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub; avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth; and by avoiding contact with sick people.

Those sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.

For more information or to schedule a flu shot, contact the Custer County Public Health Nursing Agency at 783-3369. – Nora Drenner

 
 
 
 
 
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