Take the influenza threat seriously
While California is one of only a few states where influenza is not yet considered widespread, it is only a matter of time before the illness sweeps the Golden State as well, if it isn’t already.
This is reportedly one of the worst flu seasons in several years. All but three states, among those California, are overrun by people sick with the flu. There have already been hundreds of deaths, including one this past week in the Central Valley. Many more have been hospitalized with some hospitals back East overflowing with patients.
So far, luckily, the disease has not hit too hard in Porterville, but it is here and can be spread quickly. Go into any pharmacy today and you will find people waiting at the counter for their prescription or flu shots. On Thursday, a coalition of county health departments in the Valley, including Tulare’s, put out a call for residents to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible. The earlier to get vaccinated the better because the vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective. Several flu vaccine clinics are planned. (List can be found on page 2 of Friday’s Recorder.)
This flu is severe and puts people with existing health issues, as well as the very young and very elderly, at risk.
There are some common tips to avoid getting the flu, among them washing your hands, using tissues and, of course, getting a flu shot. But, more important is what to do if you get sick. First, health officials say, stay home. The flu is very contagious and spreading it to others only makes it worse. The suggestion is to wait 24 hours after your fever abates before returning to work.
If sick, drink plenty of fluids, see a doctor if a high fever develops or you develop difficulty in breathing.
Taking steps now can ensure better health for you and your family. And remember, we have several weeks left in the flu season.