According to CDC’s latest FluView report (Feb 2 – 8), national levels of flu-like illness remain high and are expected to remain elevated for weeks to come. CDC estimates that so far this season, there have been at least 26 million flu illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths from flu.
Arizona has experienced 20,046 confirmed cases, and Yavapai County has 337 cases.
What should you do if you get sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. While flu shares many of the symptoms of the common cold, the early signs of flu are often a sudden fever, aches or pains, weakness or a loss of appetite. Having a cough and a fever together can be a good indication that you have flu. When it comes to the flu, acute illness can last four or five days, though your cough can linger for weeks.
Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions). This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. If you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your high-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at high risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.
Only if you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness should you go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.
How long should you stay home if your sick?
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. Until then, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
CDC also recommends that children and teenagers (anyone aged 18 years and younger) who have flu or are suspected to have flu should not be given Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or any salicylate containing products (e.g. Pepto Bismol); this can cause a rare, very serious complication called Reye’s syndrome.
What should you do while you're sick?
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.
How can I prevent getting the flu?
As the long as the flu virus is circulating at the high level it is across the US, getting a flu shot is the best protection. The Yavapai County Community Health Services Immunization Nurses still have plenty of vaccine. Call 771-3122 to make an appointment at one of our clinics in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Cottonwood, and in Chino on the 4th Friday of each month.
For further questions regarding the flu AZ, visit Arizona Department of Health Services Influenza page.
Latest information for Arizona Influenza activity: https://www.azdhs.gov/documents/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/flu/surveillance/2019-2020/Influenza_RSV_2019-20_Week6.pdf