Flu in Chouteau County

County health officials have been seeing an increase in flu cases this month and are encouraging people to get their flu shots and take precautions to prevent the spread of seasonal influenza.

The influenza virus is spread through the coughing and sneezing of an infected person, or by touching things that have the virus on them, then touching your nose or mouth. A person with the flu can spread the virus from 1 day before symptoms appear until 7 days after the first symptoms or until the symptoms go away, whichever is longer. The symptoms of seasonal influenza are:

• Fever higher sudden onset 101 – 104 degrees

• Headaches

• Severe body aches and pains

• Extreme weakness and fatigue

• Severe coughing

• Sore throat

• Respiratory congestion

• Chest discomfort

Standard prevention recommendations include:

• Cover your nose and mouth with tissue but if necessary use your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.

• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly – with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub solution.

• Wash your hands after shaking hands or having other close contact with other people – before eating or preparing food, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Limit your contact with others who may be ill

• Stay home from work or school if ill

• Avoid public gatherings

• If you are sick, remain home for seven days or until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

• Make sure to drink enough fluids while you’re sick.

• If you are an employer, encourage your employees to stay home if they are sick.

• If you do develop possible flu symptoms and you want to consult your health care provider, call before going in for an office visit. You may not need to go in. If you do need to be seen, take steps to avoid exposing others to influenza in the waiting room.

For more information please contact Chouteau County Health Department at 622-3771.

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