Influenza Cases on the Rise in Richland County
Richland County’s 2017 Influenza season has increased with four positive Influenza A cases tested locally this past week. The confirmed results of the samples sent to MT State Public Health Lab showed Influenza A-Seasonal H3. The four cases are Richland County residents that range from age 5 to 67 years old. Only one of the four persons had been vaccinated for influenza and no one was hospitalized at that time.
The symptoms of influenza: a sudden onset of fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, chest discomfort and a cough. A person may experience all or some of these symptoms. You may catch influenza or the “flu” when you breathe in the virus from someone else’s cough or when you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your nose, mouth or eyes. The risk of infection from influenza is higher in crowded public areas and living quarters. Persons begin to show symptoms within a week of being exposed to the virus.
Since October 2, 2016, 2436 cases and 305 hospitalizations have been reported statewide with five influenza related deaths reported this season.
In addition to vaccination please take precautions to limit the spread of disease, including:
• Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently;
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
• Stay home from work, school, daycare and large gatherings when you’re sick;
• Get plenty of rest; and
• Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of fluids.
Richland County Health Department wants residents to know it’s never too late to get a flu shot. Vaccination remains the best prevention for influenza and influenza related complications. Influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone from ages 6 months and older. For more information call 433-2207.