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Influenza season upon us PDF Print E-mail

By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican

On Monday the Chase County Clinic had reported three to four confirmed cases of A and B types influenza. There has also been one lab-confirmed case of influenza in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department’s  (SWNPHD) area.
A parent reported a confirmed case to Chase County Schools on Tuesday.
Myra Stoney, director of SWNPHD, said confirmed cases are starting to appear in health districts. “It’s pretty low here, and sporadic,” she noted.
SWNPHD conducts a school surveillance each Wednesday that reports cases only on that day. Stoney said only positive gastrointestinal virus (diarrhea and vomiting) has been noted in the schools in the district.
CCS School Nurse Angie Paisley said there have been at least 50 gastrointestinal virus cases over the past two months in K-12 students. There have also been some teachers suffering from the virus.
There have also been some documented cases of strep throat and some upper respiratory problems, Paisley stated.
Seasonal influenza, not to be mistaken for gastrointestinal virus, may affect between five to as high as 20 percent of the U.S. population depending on the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications and about 36,000 people die each year from the flu.
Older persons, young children, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions are at high risk. It spreads from person to person by direct contact or through virus-infected droplets coughed or sneezed in the air.
Signs and symptoms of influenza may include:
High fever, usually 100-102 degrees F in adults and often higher in children;
Chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, dizziness, loss of appetite, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, weakness, ear infection or diarrhea.
Call your primary care doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you feel it’s necessary and if symptoms are severe or worsen.