Onondaga County, as well as New York State, is in the middle of a severe flu season. This year the predominant virus is flu A H3N2. This flu strain often affects the very young, those over 65 years old, and those with underlying medical conditions. Commissioner of Health, Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, explained today that there has been a total of 550 flu cases reported and seven confirmed flu-related deaths in Onondaga County. Each of those who succumbed to the flu had underlying medical conditions and was elderly; some previously having had a flu vaccine this season. Dr. Gupta recommends, “If you have symptoms of the flu, even if you have had a flu vaccine this season, seek medical attention immediately for early and prompt treatment of the flu”. The Health Department also reminds everyone to be immunized against the flu and to also practice hand and respiratory hygiene.
Flu symptoms include:
- A fever of 100 degrees or higher or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
Contact your health care provider as soon as your symptoms appear.
Contact your health care provider IMMEDIATELY for early and prompt treatment of the flu. Your health care provider may recommend that you take antiviral medicine within two days of getting sick. Starting them later can still be helpful. Antiviral medicine can make illness milder and can shorten the time you are sick. Antiviral medicine may also prevent serious flu complications.
For more information about controlling the spread of flu, visit: http://www.ongov.net/health/ or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm.
The Onondaga County Health Department will continue to post weekly flu case updates on their website.