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Peak month for flu activity is February

BREAKOUTS:

What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children -

  • •         Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • •         Bluish skin color
  • •         Not drinking enough fluids
  • •         Not waking up or not interacting
  • •         Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • •         Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • •         Fever with a rash

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

  • •         Being unable to eat
  • •         Has trouble breathing
  • •         Has no tears when crying
  • •         Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

In adults -

  • •         Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • •         Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • •         Sudden dizziness
  • •         Confusion
  • •         Severe or persistent vomiting
  • •         Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

– from the CDC website, www.cdc.org

 

Stop spreading the flu

Tips on keeping illness at bay

  • •         Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • •         While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • •         If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • •         Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • •         Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • •         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • •         Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

– from the CDC website, www.cdc.org

 

By Cristin Parker

 

BI-STONE AREA, Texas – It hasn't started the zombie apocalypse, but this year's flu season is turning out to be one of the worst on record, locally and across the nation.

Healthcare officials have reported the virus is widespread and unusually active in every state in the U.S., except Hawaii. The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) has confirmed 2,355 deaths so far in Texas from pneumonia and influenza during the 2017-18 influenza season, which started Oct. 1, 2017.

“Influenza activity remains high across the state of Texas,” stated the TDSHS's weekly flu report, published on the department's website Jan. 26 for the week of Jan. 20. “Compared to the previous week, the percentage of patient visits due to influenza-like illness (ILI) and the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza reported by public health and hospital laboratories has marginally increased. In addition to flu, other respiratory viruses—especially rhinovirus/enterovirus—were detected in Texas during week 03.”

Flu season generally runs from October to May, according to Texas health officials, with February being the month numbers of flu cases traditionally spike.

Locally, it's already got a head start.

“We're certainly seeing an increasing number of students out with the flu or other illness,” Mexia Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Lyle DuBus said, “especially at our younger campuses, AB. Bay and R.Q. Sims. We've increased disinfecting our buildings and are emphasizing practicing good hygiene with our students, but progressively, it's (the number of absences has) gotten worse.”

On the other side of the river at Groesbeck ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Bill Tarleton stated “We have a 93% attendance rate today, January 29.” We are requesting that students not come to school if they are sick, running fever, vomiting and should be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. We are screening students with cold, coughs, congestion, and history of asthma and addressing their attendance on an individual basis.”

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

Groesbeck Journal

P.O. Box 440
Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
Fax: 254-729-0362