Influenza is in our Community

Posted 12/20/2013 in Public Health

Brought to you by Delaware County Public Health

Influenza season is here with the flu circulating, just in time for the holidays!  The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses.  It spreads easily from person to person and can cause mild to severe illness.  The flu comes on quickly.  Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches.  Illness usually lasts two to seven days.  The flu may cause severe illness or complications in the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health problems.

“It is important to remember the 3Cs, Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill,” urges Delma Hardin, RN, BSN, Delaware County Public Health Manager.  “You can make a difference in the defense against the flu and other illnesses with your personal actions.”

Everyday Preventative Actions You Can Take Include:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are ill, until your fever and severe symptoms have been gone for 24 hours, without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Everyday preventive actions can help slow the spread of germs that may cause many illnesses and will offer some protection against the flu. Frequent hand washing may be the most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness.

More facts about influenza can be found at http://www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Influenza.aspx.  If you have questions, call Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551.