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The Lake News Online
  • Flu cases surge in lake area

  • Health departments are reporting mixed findings so far this flu season.

    Health officials continue to encourage those who have not gotten a vaccine to do so.
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    • About the flu
      Influenza, commonly called the "flu", is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. Although mos...
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      About the flu
      Influenza, commonly called the "flu", is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.
      How do I know if I have it?
      Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms, some of which are also signs of the common cold:
      • Fever (usually above 101 degrees)
      • Headache
      • Tiredness (can be extreme)
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Stuffy nose
      • Body aches
      • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)
      However, if you experience these symptoms but do not experience respiratory symptoms, it is unlikely that you have the flu.
      Information provided by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Health departments are reporting mixed findings so far this flu season.
    Health officials continue to encourage those who have not gotten a vaccine to do so.
    The number of confirmed cases of both Type A and Type B influenza in Miller County has taken a significant jump from November to December, according to Bruce Jenkins, Miller County Health Center administrator.
    In November, there were two cases of Type A and one case of Type B reported to the MCHC.
    In December, there were 44 confirmed cases of Type A and three cases of Type B.
    “As you can see, the flu virus is here,” Jenkins said.
    The MCHC still has flu vaccine available. Residents can walk into the office (2125 Highway 52, Tuscumbia) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or can schedule an appointment by calling 573-369-2359.
    According to WebMD.com, Type A influenza is capable of infecting animals, although it is more common for people to suffer the ailments associated with this type of flu. Wild birds commonly act as the hosts for this flu virus. The Type A flu virus is constantly changing and is generally responsible for the large flu epidemics. 
    Unlike Type A flu viruses, Type B flu is found only in humans. Type B flu may cause a less severe reaction than Type A flu virus, but occasionally, Type B flu can still be extremely harmful, according to WebMD.
    Camden County Health Department has seen 66 confirmed flu cases since Oct. 1. The department saw a spike in the cases the week of Dec. 16.
    Six of the 66 reported cases were infants zero to one year old and twelve cases in the two-to-four age group. The flu outbreak seems to be having more of an impact to date in the five-year-olds to 14-year-olds age group in Camden County.
    Twenty-four cases were reported for that age range. Officials say that 12 cases were reported for ages 24 to 49, six for ages 50 to 64 and just one case for ages over 64.
    "It seems like it is hitting sooner than years past," Bee Dampier with the Camden County Health Department said.
    Camden County Health Department does not have any more flu vaccines available to be purchased. Dampier suggested checking with medical providers and other retailers.
    Dampier encourages residents to get a vaccine if they have not already, wash their hands, cover their coughs and sneezes, stay out of crowds and stay home if they are running a fever. The rule of thumb is to stay home until a fever has been gone for at least 24 hours.
     
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