Precaution is needed in dealing with flu outbreak

Precaution is needed in dealing with flu outbreak

THE ISSUE: Flu season is still active within Macoupin County.

CARLINVILLE (Jan. 25, 2018) – Heed the advice of healthcare providers in obtaining flu vaccine and practicing good hand hygiene.

Ask anyone who has had the flu this season and they will most likely tell you it’s no laughing matter with its multi-symptoms of high fever, sore throat, and terrible cough, just to name a few. This year’s unwanted visitor came calling early, in November, and was in full force just in time for Christmas. An unwelcome present by most accounts for certain.

While healthcare officials were recently optimistic by stating they thought the flu season had seen its peak, this week they cautioned that it has become even more widespread and intense. Such is the case locally and across the nation. Macoupin County has one death attributed to the flu thus far. Hawaii is the only state to escape the flu’s wrath. So if saying aloha to Hawaii is not an option, heed the advice of area healthcare providers in trying not to become a flu statistic this winter.

Understand that the flu is a contagious respiratory illness and is spread by a virus. While anyone can get the flu, young children and the elderly are often at greater risk. Don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention once symptoms arise as Tamiflu, an antiviral flu

medication, must be started within 72 hours in order to be effective and complications from the flu can escalate very quickly into even more serious health issues.

Officials at Maple Street Clinic in Gillespie recommend getting a flu shot as we are only midway through the flu season. All insurances are accepted and vaccines are offered on a sliding fee scale for those without insurance. And they further note that contrary to rumors, this year’s vaccine does cover the strain of flu that is sickening so many. They also recommend staying home if ill as opposed to braving it out and infecting your coworkers or others whom you come in contact with. Such responsible behavior can only help curb the sharing of the virus.

As the young and elderly are two of the hardest hit segments of the population, respect the fact that nursing homes often have to restrict visitors in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Nearby Litchfield High School cancelled school two days in December due to widespread flu among the students and staff. Maintenance personnel worked to thoroughly clean the building during that time in an effort to curb the flu’s spread.

By practicing good hand hygiene, a major factor in controlling the spread of the flu’s virus, and receiving the flu vaccine, residents can do their part in aiding healthcare providers who are seeing record number of flu victims packing emergency departments and doctor’s offices.