Live Oak —
Suwannee County is currently experiencing increased flu activity. This is not unexpected as most of the state and the nation are experiencing higher levels of flu activity. Seasonal flu is occurring in the State of Florida earlier than in previous years and appears to be causing more serious illness.
“The most important message for our community is to take precautions against the seasonal flu. The best way to protect you and your loved ones is to get the flu vaccine and to stay home if you have flu-like symptoms”, stated Pamela Blackmon, RN, BSN, MPH, Suwannee County Health Department Administrator.
It’s not too late to get a flu shot and everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated.
Seasonal flu is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. Compared with most other viral respiratory infections, influenza infection often causes a more severe illness. Symptoms of the flu include:
- Severe cough
- Runny nose
- Body aches
Contact your primary care physician or a local hospital immediately if symptoms appear.
The Florida Department of Health urges the following preventive steps for the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- 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.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Get re-vaccinated EVERY YEAR because flu viruses change each year!