Local health officials see up-tick in flu cases here
By staff writer
The state of Missouri has seen a dramatic increase in the number of influenza cases reported so far this winter. In addition, the Gasconade County Health Department has recently seen an increase in laboratory confirmed influenza cases. Thus far there have been 61 confirmed cases of Influenza B and 5 confirmed cases of Influenza A.
The confirmed cases are from all age groups.
There has also been a dramatic increase in “influenza-like illness” symptoms reported through the county health department’s surveillance systems.
Hermann Area District Hospital has seen very few lab-confirmed cases of influenza as of last week, but it has reported other viral illnesses, RSV, and strep, according to the health department.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
The health department advises that if you experience any of these symptoms, it is wise to stay at home to reduce transmission to others. If you are experiencing flu symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor early. The medications that help reduce the symptoms and length of flu work best if started soon after the onset of symptoms.
The best defense against influenza is vaccination. Flu season typically peaks in January or February and can last into May, so it is still well worth it to receive the vaccine, which the CDC advises is matched well the reported cases of influenza that is circulating. Handwashing and covering your cough can also help to reduce the transmission of the flu virus; especially if you are caring for someone at home who has the flu. The Gasconade County Health Department offers a variety of flu vaccinations at their Hermann location on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and at their Owensville location on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.