Last year’s Clark County flu season came in waves but resulted in the highest number of flu diagnoses in recent memory and officials are encouraging residents to start prevention now.
There were 308 cases of flu recorded in Clark County in 2018, according to the Clark County Combined Health District. That’s two times more than there was in 2017, according to the same statistics.
“We don’t quite know what this flu season has in store for us yet, but we do know getting a flu vaccination and frequent hand washing are the best ways to prevent spreading the flu virus,” said Christina Conover, director of nursing with the Clark County Combined Health District.
The flu season begins in October and can last through April. A press release by the health district encourages residents to get a flu shot.
”Vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu,” the release says. “Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers. Clark County Combined Health District is providing flu vaccines by appointment but walk-ins are accepted if there are open appointments.”
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Other effective ways to avoid contracting it include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth – germs are usually spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practicing other good health habits like disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods can help prevent illness, the health district said.
Flu is a common viral infection that can easily spread from person to person. Typically, a healthy person can fight off the flu with rest but it can be dangerous for young children and the elderly.
“Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue,” the health district said. “Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately.”
If an otherwise healthy person gets sick with the flu, staying home and avoiding contact with others for at least 24 hours after a fever subsides can help prevent the spread of the illness.
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