Don’t panic, just be careful: Health workers see no early upsurge in reports of influenza



Fall is in full swing, and for many people the changes in weather mean sniffling noses, sneezing, a hacking cough, body aches and other ailments.

Local health officials say there likely is a virus going around and adults should take steps now to keep themselves and their families healthy.

One of those steps is to be vaccinated for influenza, said Lin Montgomery, public health educator/coordinator with Jackson County Health Department.

The flu season typically starts in October and runs through May, with most cases occurring in January or February; but Montgomery said the flu is already here and spreading.

“We have noticed a lot of people with respiratory illness, and that is flu,” Montgomery said.

Urgent Care in Seymour, however, isn’t reporting any cases of flu yet.

“It’s early,” said Julie Bridgewater, team leader with Urgent Care. “We have swabbed for flu but haven’t had anything come up yet.”

Right now, Bridgewater said the office is mainly seeing patients with cough and congestion from common colds as well as some stomach bug cases.

Although many people associate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea with the flu, those symptoms are more common in children and are not what people are coming down with at this time, Montgomery said.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract, different from the stomach flu, that results in fever, headaches, fatigue, dry coughing spells, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches.

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