ASHE COUNTY — N.C. State Rep. Jonathan Jordan visited the Ashe County office of Appalachian District Health Department to receive his annual flu immunization.
Jordan, who represents Ashe and Watauga Counties, is making this visit to raise awareness of the importance of getting immunized. Jordan was joined by Beth Lovette, Health Director, for the visit.
Influenza (flu) is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. The “seasonal flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
Local Cases of Flu
The most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows increasing flu activity for the United States. The proportion of visits due to Influenza-like Illness in Region 4 (Southeastern US) was at baseline at 1.6% for week 2 (ending 1/16/2016). The baseline for the region is 1.6%.
February as Peak Month for Flu Activity: The CDC monitors flu activity by month and from the years 1982-83 through 2013-14, flu activity most often peaked in February (14 seasons) in
the United States. In North Carolina, hospital-based Public Health Epidemiologists reported 19 positive influenza results out of 664 samples tested during week 3 (ending 1/23/2016); 8 positive influenza A (unknown), 6 positive influenza B, and 5 positive influenza A (H1) (Source: NC DHHS).
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine. According to the CDC, as long as the flu virus is circulating, vaccination is appropriate. Once someone is vaccinated, it will take about two weeks to develop antibodies in the body to protect against flu.
Signs & Symptoms and What to Do
* A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
* Sore throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Muscle or body aches
* Fatigue (tiredness)
* Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
If you do become sick, call your healthcare provider or the health department for recommendations.
To Protect You and Your Family From Flu
* Get your flu vaccine!
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you are sick with flu–like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
* While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Walk-in appointments to get your flu vaccine are available at the health department and the vaccine is available at local healthcare providers and pharmacy locations.
For more information about the flu, go to www.flu.nc.gov or www.cdc.gov/flu or contact Appalachian District Health Department at (828) 264-4995.