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Several Healthcare Facilities are Seeing Patients with Flu-Like Illnesses

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Several Healthcare Facilities are Seeing Patients with Flu-Like Illnesses

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February 10, 2012

(Grant County, WA) Influenza (the flu) has arrived in Grant County. In less than two weeks, the Grant County Health District (GCHD) received 13 reports of positive influenza lab tests. This marks the beginning of 2011-2012 Influenza Season in our area, with neighboring counties also seeing higher number of flu cases. “While 13 positive flu tests may not seem like many, healthcare providers are not required to report all positive flu test results,” states Shawta Sackett RN, MPH, Community Public Health Manager and Epidemiologist. She adds, “Not every patient who is seen in a clinic for flu will be tested and we know many people do not visit their healthcare provider when they are sick with the flu.” So far, no severe cases have been reported in Grant County, but there was a flu related death in Washington State this year. It is unknown how many people are sick with the flu in the county, but there are more cases than those seen in the clinics or emergency rooms. Once the influenza season starts it often lasts to May, and sometimes beyond.

The symptoms of the flu include temperature greater than 100F WITH a cough and /or sore throat. Those with the flu may also get headaches, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue (tiredness) and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Not every person with the flu will have a fever.

It is not too late to get your flu shot and stop you from getting the flu.

Adults may visit the GCHD Moses Lake office on Tuesdays from 9:00-11:00 am for a seasonal flu shot or visit our web site www.granthealth.org to find a location near you to get your flu shot.

Take care of yourself when you are sick.

Both children and adults who are diagnosed with the flu by a doctor or who have a cough with a fever should remain at home until the fever and cough are gone to avoid spreading flu to others.

Now that the flu is here, GCHD reminds everyone:

People with the flu can make others sick 1 day before symptoms appear and up to 5 days after
symptoms begin.
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Use tissues and throw them away in nearest garbage can.
Wash your hands (with warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) after coughing,
sneezing or touching your nose or mouth.

  • People with the flu can make others sick 1 day before symptoms appear and up to 5 days after
    symptoms begin.
  •  Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  •  Use tissues and throw them away in nearest garbage can.
  •  Wash your hands (with warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) after coughing,
    sneezing or touching your nose or mouth.
  • If you are sick, stay home. Don’t pass the flu to your friends, family and co-workers. If staying at home is not possible, GCHD recommends the use of a mask when in a public place like the grocery store or doctor’s office. Masks are also recommended for ill mothers when caring fortheir babies.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes antiviral medicine please finish the entire prescription.
  • Watch for warning signs of danger.
  • In Children: Fast breathing or trouble breathing; bluish skin color; not drinking enough fluids; not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough; fever with a rash.
  • In Adults: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting.

The flu can be a very serious health risk for many of our residents. Please do your part and protect
yourself and loved ones from the flu. Get a flu shot and stay away from others if you are sick.

 

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