The local area seems to be ‘under the weather’ as most of the schools are closed due to sickness and urgent cares are overloaded with people who are sick.
One of the illnesses seems to be that of the flu. What are the symptoms of the flu that is going around? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu symptoms can be:
fever* or feeling feverish/chills.
runny or stuffy nose.
muscle or body aches.
some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
The good news is that it is not too late to get a flu shot.
“It is absolutely not too late to get a flu shot,” Tracey Henderson, Director of Nursing with the Scioto County Health Department said. “In fact, if you have not had a flu shot, you should. We have flu shots available here at the Scioto County Health Department we are located in the county courthouse which is 602 seventh street and enter in the sixth Street entrance we are on the second floor 211 you do not need an appointment. We are open for walk-ins Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and we want this community to be protected against the flu. We still have flu shots available for all ages. We can help whether they have insurance or not.”
Henderson said that the CDC recommends that everyone ages six months and older to get a flu shot every flu season. She said that there is no shortages of the shots and that they have them, doctors have them and pharmacies have them.
Basically, the following list is what Scioto County Health Department says are five of the most important things to know about the flu:
• Frequent hand-washing, especially before touching your face or your eyes or your mouth or anything.
• If you are coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not out into the air, and then wash your hands afterward because that’s how the flu is spread is through a virus that is spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes and that can end up onto surfaces and stuff.
• If you are sick, stay home and not be out in the community spreading it to other people.
• Flu shots are very important so far it seems as though the strains of flu that are being seen here in Ohio are the strains that are being contained in the flu shots. It is good protection to get the flu shot. It’s possible that you may still get the flu but you are much less likely to end up in the hospital with the flu and you are much less likely to die from the flu.
• There are treatments available that can shorten the course of the flu, but you have to get on it quick, so if you have symptoms that you suspect you may have the flu it is important to call your health care provider or be seen quickly because the longer you wait, the less effective the treatments that can shorten the course will be.
“Ohio is seeing two different strains of influenza A and one strain of the B type. That is what has been observed in Ohio, but the good news is that the current flu shot contains two strains of A and two strains of B. The flu shot is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu,” Henderson said. ” The flu shot cannot give you the flu, it is not a live vaccine. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to get full effectiveness if you get a flu shot and the next day, you get the flu, it is not from the shot, you were already infected.”
As far as decisions on whether schools should or should not close due to the flu, the Health Department does not make those decisions that is up to each superintendent of the various schools.
Henderson also read from The Ohio Department Flu Activity page, cases of hospitalized flu that have been reported.
“So far this flu season we have over 36 hundred cases they call it influenza-associated hospitalization in the entire state of Ohio and that is as of Jan. 25, 2020. As of this time last year, Jan. 26, 2019, there were 18 hundred in the state of Ohio. Basically so far this season, there have been twice as many flu-related hospitalizations in the state of Ohio, as there were during the same time last year. People really need to take precautions,” Henderson said.
The CDC has a list of some of the most important steps or precautions to take:
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.
Washing with soap and water:
Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. This is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice through.
Rinse hands well under running water.
Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. Sharing cloth towels can spread germs. If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.
Remember: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer to clean hands.
Stay away from people who are sick as much as you can.
If you’re sick, stay home! The majority of flu illnesses can be treated at home.
During your illness, stay away from those who may become ill easily or who are at high risk for complications from flu; cover coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands often.
Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to children or teenagers who have the flu; this can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye Syndrome.
Drink clear fluids such as water, broth or sports drinks. There are also electrolyte beverages made for infants to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.
Get plenty of rest.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends staying home for 24 hours after a fever is gone without using fever-reducing medication. If you get sick, stay home from work and keep sick children from school or childcare.
More information about flu shots can be found by calling the Scioto County Health Department at 740-355-8358, You do not need an appointment, you can just walk-in.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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