It is officially Influenza season and we are seeing a large number of residents in our community who are becoming sick. Influenza (the flu) can affect anyone young or old. Symptoms of the Influenza virus are:
For many people the flu lasts for a few days to a couple weeks with the affected person fully recovering, but anyone can develop serious complications of influenza. Complications can range from pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory distress, even death. Certain people are more likely to develop serious complications – adults age 65 and older, those with other medical problems such as asthma, heart conditions or lung disease, pregnant women, and young children. Emergency warning signs of serious influenza illness are:
What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
There are several ways you can protect yourself from getting the flu virus. First, get your yearly flu shot. Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu shot once a year. The flu shot may not prevent you 100% from getting sick but if you do get the flu, your symptoms may not be as bad. Even if you have not gotten sick this season doesn’t mean you won’t get sick. The sooner you get a flu shot the more protection you have from getting seriously ill. Second, wash your hands! Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in public, after coughing or sneezing, and before you eat or touch your face. Use hot water and soap if possible. Otherwise an alcohol based hand sanitizer works too. Also, try to avoid being around sick people as much as possible. If you are sick yourself, stay home until you have not run a fever for at least 24 hours without medication. Be sure to cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away after you are done.
If you have not been vaccinated for the flu, come down to the Cherokee County Health Department Monday–Friday between 8:00-12:00 and from 1:00–5:00 to receive your flu vaccine. We still have plenty of vaccine available and the cost is $25. Protect yourself, protect your loved ones. Get vaccinated today!
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