Influenza is actively spreading in local communities, according to the Fulton County Health Department. There have been at least 10 hospitalizations in the county associated with influenza.
Rachel Kinsman, FCHD health educator, said it’s important to remember that both influenza A and influenza B can result in severe complications, especially among those less than five years of age, those 65 years and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic disorders. Based on data from the past five years, the FCHD expects to see an increase in influenza cases through mid-March.
There are steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of getting infected with influenza, and if someone does get influenza the severity may be reduced.
• Get the seasonal influenza vaccine.
• Wash hands with soap and water frequently.
• Avoid sick people.
• Avoid touching your hands to your face.
• Cough and sneeze into the covered elbow or a tissue.
• Clean high touch surfaces frequently, using EPA-approved disinfectant designed to kill influenza. Pay close attention to “wet” times – the amount of time a contaminated surface needs to stay wet with disinfectant in order to effectively kill the targeted organism.
• If someone does become sick with influenza, they should stay home until fever free for 24 hours (without fever reducing medications) or longer depending on a health provider’s recommendations, and practice the above listed good hygiene habits.
The influenza virus is transmitted via droplets from respiratory secretions and can be transmitted through direct – coughing or sneezing – or indirect – touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the mouth or face – contact.
For more information, call 419-337-0915 or visit www.fultoncountyhealthdept.com.