Flu Season In Full Swing in Jackson County As Authorities Encourage Vigilance
JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Sharp increases in the number of emergency room visits for influenza related complaints- especially children under 18, have been noted by Jackson County Health and Human Services according to their recent press release. With the highest number of people testing positive for flu in Southern Oregon, the highly contagious influenza virus is circulating extensively through Jackson County.
Indicating that people who are 65 years old or older, children 5 years old or younger, pregnant people and those with chronic medical conditions or weak immune systems are most at risk, the release noted some precautions. By December 22, 14 people had succumbed to the illness across the US, but no deaths had been attributed to flu in Oregon.
Generally circulating during the fall and winter- called “the flu season,” the influenza virus is detected year round in the US. Seasonal increases in flu activity are typically observed in October, but the precise timing and duration of the annual seasons fluctuates. Peaking generally between December and February, flu episodes can still be prevalent by May.
Brought on by the influenza virus, flu is a contagious respiratory illness infecting the throat and nose- and sometimes migrating to the lungs, occasionally resulting in death. The press release confirms that flu is not the same as a common cold or stomach flu and the onset usually happens suddenly.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, and it could cause mild to severe illness- and sometimes leads to death. The flu is different from the common cold or stomach flu and it is important to note that the flu usually comes on suddenly,” the release said. Symptoms can include some or all of the following:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills,
- sore throat,
- fatigue (tiredness)
- muscle or body aches,
- runny or stuffy nose,
Some individuals could experience vomiting and diarrhea, but this generally occurs more frequently in the case of children.
Oregon officials have advised citizens to safeguard themselves. Being vaccinated against the flu, together with regular testing for respiratory infections and taking anti-viral medication prescribed by a medical professional will help protect individuals against the illness. There are also other measures than can be implemented as a defense:
- Limit any contact with others, and stay at home.
- Don’t touch the mouth, nose, and eyes.
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
- Wash hands often, with soap and water- or an alcohol-based rub if no soap is available.
- Wear a mask when in indoor spaces in public places.
- Clean and disinfect objects that are exposed to, or that could have germs on them.
Mostly, people with the flu recover without help, but there are signs that indicate that the person needs immediate medical attention. These include:
Emergency signs for adults:
- difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath
- severe weakness or unsteadiness, fever or cough that improves but returns or worsens
- dizziness, confusion, or seizures
- lack of urinating, or other indications of dehydration
- worsening of chronic medical conditions.
- severe muscle pain,
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest or stomach
Emergency signs for children:
- a high fever over 104 degrees
- dehydration (symptoms: no urination for eight hours or more, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
- fast breathing, trouble breathing, or blue lips or face
- a cough that gets better but later returns, or worsens
- ribs drawing in on each breath, or chest pain
- seizures, or not being alert or interacting when awake
- worsening of existing chronic medical conditions
- severe muscle pain (such as if the child refuses to walk)
Health and Human Services advise anyone six months or older to get vaccinated. Click on this link or call 211 to find a vaccine clinic near you.