(NAPA, California) Napa County health officials are seeing a rapid increase in influenza (flu), including severe cases requiring admission to hospital intensive care units. The predominant strain of influenza across the US this year is the H1N1 strain that emerged in 2009. This strain causes more flu illness in children and young adults than is usual with other strains of the influenza virus. People of any age with other medical conditions are also at risk for more severe illness.
“Influenza is always a serious illness, but we are especially concerned this year as there are already reports of severe illness and deaths in young adults from several parts of the country,” said Dr. Karen Smith, Napa County Public Health Officer. “The good news is that it’s not too late to vaccinate against the flu. There is no shortage of flu vaccine, which is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. The vaccine is especially effective in children and young adults.”
Seasonal Influenza (Flu)
Present, often high, usually 100°F and over and usually lasts 3-4 days
Very common, sudden onset and can be severe
Very common, often severe
Dry, unproductive cough, can be Severe
Sudden onset, moderate to severe
Develop suddenly, can appear within 3-6 hours
Some people may have vomiting & diarrhea
If you become ill with flu-like symptoms (fever >100oF with cough and/or sore throat), you should stay home until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (e.g. Tylenol). Antiviral medication may help to reduce the severity and length of illness if taken soon after symptoms start; talk to a doctor/healthcare provider if you or someone you care for develops flu symptoms.
Practice Good Hygiene & Healthy Habits
Make sure you and your families W.H.A.C.K. the flu:
For More Information
Visit www.countyofnapa.org/publichealth/seasonalflu/ for more information.