Flu hitting earlier than last season

File Photo. (iStock)


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Health professionals are seeing more cases of the flu earlier than last year and they’re stressing that it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

Schools in Allen County are reporting a high number of student absences due to flu like symptoms and Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health Commissioner Deb McMahan, MD sent a letter to school districts dated December 9, indicating that the flu could ramp up with family gatherings taking place for the holiday and staff members should get vaccinated if possible.

Statistics compiled by Lutheran Hospital show that from November 29 through December 6, 46 of 121 tests came back positive for Influenza A and one tested positive for Influenza B. In 2013, from November 29 to December 3, only 29 tests were conducted with only one coming back positive for the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control lists Indiana as having light flu activity, however Google Flu Trends shows Indiana as having moderate flu activity

Wednesday, Super Shot announced it had partnered with Walgreens as part of National Influenza Vaccination Week to offer free adult flu shots at all Super Shot clinics through December. The only exception is at the First Care Clinic where the shots are $20.00. For more information, call 260-424-SHOT.

Flu.gov offers the following tips to avoid getting the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

 

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