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The original item was published from 1/22/2014 9:51:00 AM to 3/1/2014 12:05:04 AM.

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Posted on: January 22, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Note from County Judge Regarding Ellis County Flu Activity

The following is a statement from the County Health Official, Dr. Leigh Nordstrom, regarding flu activity in Ellis County:

The Centers for Disease Control has noted increase activity during this flu season. All age groups are affected but children and young adults have had higher number of cases in the Texas region at this time. The first week in January is showing slight decline in number of flu and flu like illness in the Texas region. The vast majority of flu that has tested positive has been due to type A. Further typing is not always done, but when further typing has been performed the majority of the type A has been H1N1. Although there has been a small decline the first week in January, the flu season is expected to extend to late February or early March. Since there are multiple strains, it is still a good idea to get vaccinated. Having the flu once in a season does not protect against other strains of the flu. It is possible to get infected several times during a season by different strains.

Some good ways to prevent the flu include getting a yearly influenza vaccine. This is a safe and effective measure that all age groups can use. Use of good hygiene, such has hand washing, covering one's mouth when coughing, and not sharing utensils are effective to prevent spread. When one has symptoms of the flu use the "3 foot" rule, which means avoiding close contact with other (stay 3 feet away from others). If one has a fever, then stay home and get rest and avoid going out and spreading infection.

Be sure to seek medical attention early if there is concern for the flu. The medications that shorten the length of the flu (Tamiflu and Relenza) are really only effective if started in the first 48 hours. Red flags that indicate further evaluation are difficulty breathing, inability to take in adequate fluids and bland or liquid diet, and symptoms that fail to improve over time. The flu will normally improve on its own in about 1-2 weeks in healthy persons.

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