Although the flu season is off to a quiet start in Yavapai County (with only 3 cases), the flu activity has picked up in other areas of the state. Mohave County seeing the largest spike in cases, particularly in young people under 18. The CDC surveillance report for week ending November 9th shows California with widespread activity and Nevada isn’t far behind.
During fall and winter each year there's a new season of human influenza viruses, which is different than the common cold. The influenza virus infection causes the flu and usually comes on suddenly.
The human influenza virus is highly contagious and is spread through the respiratory system, nose, and throat.
The most common flu symptoms are body aches, chills, cough, fatigue, fever, and headache. Symptoms vary slightly from person to person, but if it's the flu, everyone experiences those hallmark symptoms. The only way to know for sure whether it's the flu is a nasal or throat swab test at the doctor's office.
And since the flu is highly contagious, it's important you know whether you're infected — that way you can take precautions to prevent spreading the virus. Especially if you spend time around high-risk people for the flu, such as new babies or elderly grandparents.
The flu can infect anybody but there are certain populations at higher risk of developing complications from the infection. The group at highest risk often are immune compromised or have chronic medical conditions and this includes seniors, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, pregnant women, and children.
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine. Schedule an appointment today at Yavapai County Community Health Services. Just call 928-771-3122 to visit our Prescott, Prescott Valley or Cottonwood sites. We now offer appointments in Chino Valley on the 4th Friday of each month.