Intense Local Flu Activity
Inyo and Mono County public health officer Dr. Richard Johnson has issued a statement indicating an uptick in local flu activity. According to Dr. Johnson, ” All evidence points to intense local flu activity throughout Inyo and Mono County”. Johnson notes that some schools are having the highest absentee rates he has ever seen, with day care centers have documented cases among those in the highest risk age groups. At least one facility is on voluntary “lock-down” to protect persons from further spread. Sierra Park Clinics are seeing influenza-like illness at epidemic levels, especially in Pediatrics, with levels approaching the highest he has ever seen.
Anecdotally, Emergency Departments are full of persons with possible influenza. Fortunately, Dr. Johnson says he is not aware of an increase locally in hospitalizations for pneumonia or flu-like illness, and no one has been transported out of the area, and no deaths have occurred locally associated with the flu.
Dr. Johnson’s Tips if you get the Flu
1 – Stay at home and rest.
Most people who get the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medication. DO NOT go to work or school if you still have had a fever in the last 24 hours.
Employers – Please encourage and enable those who are sick to stay home!! Screen arriving employees, and send home those who are sick.
2 – Avoid close contact with people.
While sick, you should limit contact with others to keep from infecting them, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away after the first use. You should wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3 – Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids
You should drink plenty of clear fluids as soon as the first flu symptoms appear to avoid dehydration. Water is fine, but soup is better. You should eat nourishing food as well as pass on alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
4 – Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medications
Fever reducers, antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines could help you feel better, but those won’t help you recover any faster. Flu symptoms may last up to two weeks.
5 – Call a doctor if extremely ill.
If symptoms are severe or if you are pregnant, 65 years or older or have a chronic medical condition, you should call your doctor. The doctor might recommend antiviral drugs to treat your flu.
Millions of people avoid getting sick every year by getting a flu shot or practicing good hand-washing hygiene. Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop. Although not as effective this year as it usually is, it still is the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick.There are several flu strains circulating in the region, so if someone has already got a flu and have recovered from it, they could get sick again.