Health Care

'It will bring a healthy person down': Flu concerns overshadowed by coronavirus

'It will bring a healthy person down': Flu concerns overshadowed by coronavirus”

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that so far, this season there have been more than 21 million flu cases with more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths.

Dr. Ingrid Chan, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, said elderly people typically have more chronic medical conditions so their immune system is weaker, which puts them at a greater risk of developing complications from the flu.

The last pediatric flu death in West Virginia occurred during the 2017-18 flu season.

Health officials say there has been an unusual overlap between both the "A" and "B" strain of influenza this season; however, the numbers of flu cases are in line with previous years.

"I would say the average Malheur County resident is way, way more likely to get flu than the coronavirus", said Angie Gerrard, a registered nurse at the Malheur County Health Department.

Lewis and Clark Public Health and St. Peter's Hospital are offering flu shots. "Even at this time of year, if you haven't had the flu shot, you should make an appointment and get it".

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VDH recommends taking three actions to prevent the flu. "While they may still get the flu, the vaccine can lessen the severity of the symptoms".

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She said the flu is simply unpredictable, but the best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands with soap and water often.

Typical symptoms are the traditional fever, headache, body aches, chills, tiredness, weakness, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose and sore throat.

"If you're sick, stay at home, get your rest, avoid going to work or going to school and getting others sick". Stay home while you are sick (except to visit a health care professional) and avoid close contact with others. Those who are sick should cover their cough and promptly throw away tissues.

Influenza virus. Image produced from an image taken with transmission electron microscopy.



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