Jan 6, 2015 12:10 AM by Jason Atcho
It's that time of year again and the flu is starting to spread across the North State. "We've really seen an increase in flu activity in the last week or so. Lots of increased detections at emergency rooms," said Dr. Mark Lundberg, Butte County Health Officer. He says the timing of this increase isn't great. "Now that school is back in, kids sometimes go to school with a mild case and it can spread quickly among a classroom or among a school."
The department does testing throughout the county to determine the extent of the virus. "We do have a sampling of schools, a sampling of clinics, and the hospitals report to us their cases," explained Lundberg.
Although the flu can affect everyone, there are those who are more at risk. "There are people in our community, the young, the old, those that have chronic diseases, that they can suffer quite a bit with the flu. It can cause a rapid onset of a high fever and aches. It's rather contagious," said Lundberg.
There are easy ways to protect yourself and your family from suffering this season. "All of those things that we know to do. Wash our hands with soap and water. If you're coughing and sneezing, do so into a tissue or into the corner of your elbow. Stay away from sick people. Stay home if you're sick," explained Lisa Almaguer, Communications Manager for Butte County Public Health. There's another quick way that takes just a couple of minutes. Health officials want to remind everyone that it's not too late to get a flu shot.
If you do fall victim to the nasty virus, there are steps to ease the pain. "If you have a fever or a sore throat, don't wait it out. Call your doctor right away. There's anti-virals. There's possibly Tamiflu that you can take that will shorten the duration and the severity of your symptoms," said Almaguer.
Officials also want to remind those who get the flu to wait a minimum of 24 hours after your fever goes away before returning to work or school because the virus could still be active.
You can find a list of places in your area offering the flu shot at http://flushot.healthmap.org.
For up-to-date flu information from Butte County Public Health and ways to protect yourself, you can visit them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Butte-County-Public-Health/317059885163913 or on twitter at @bc_pubhealth.