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Flu cases on the rise in Plumas; still time to get a shot

The Plumas County Public Health Agency announced that there has been a dramatic increase in flu cases over the past month and released the following information this afternoon:

The “flu season” is here, and we are experiencing an increase of Influenza cases in Plumas County. “The flu” is unpleasant for everyone, but is particularly dangerous for children under 5 years old, people over 50, pregnant women, and people with underlying health problems like COPD, heart disease, or diabetes, where it can sometimes require hospitalization and be life threatening.

When any of these higher risk individuals contracts the influenza virus, it’s important they be started on antiviral medications within 1-2 days. They should contact their healthcare provider to be seen promptly, and if necessary come to the emergency room. Please put on a mask when you come in the Emergency Department door and avoid contact with other patients.

Symptoms of influenza include sudden onset of fever, cough or sore throat, and muscle and body aches. These are often accompanied by headache, runny or stuffy nose, profound fatigue, and sometimes nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

The first principle of treating the flu is to stay home from work, school, or other public places until symptoms have resolved. Flu is readily passed from person to person through small droplets from coughs or sneezes or from objects we commonly touch like door knobs and grocery carts.

Drink lots of liquids (don’t worry about solids) and get plenty of rest. Aspirin should never be given to people under 18 years old experiencing the flu because it can, in rare cases, cause a serious disease called Reye’s syndrome. Remember to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based rub.

Following these simple measures help:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Clean frequently the things you touch especially if other people touch them as well
  • Do not touch your face
  • Keep away from sick people
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your elbow
  • If you are sick or feel sick stay STAY HOME!

It’s also not too late to get your “flu shot” (influenza immunization) to help prevent the flu. The vaccine is offered at Plumas County Public Health Clinics and most pharmacies and medical providers throughout the county, while supplies last. FluMist (nasal vaccine) is not as effective as the shot, so get the shot if possible. The vaccine prevents many deaths each year and helps our community avoid missed work and school, not to mention the miserable experience of having the flu.

If you have questions, please call your regular healthcare provider or Plumas County Public Health Agency at 283-6330 for more information.   It takes 2 weeks for immunization to work, so now’s the time to get the shot if you haven’t already.


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