Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Health Center sees rise of flu cases

Health Center sees rise of flu cases

"We tragically has our first pediatric death from influenza last week", Slemp said during an appearance Tuesday on MetroNews "Talkline".

West Virginia state health officer Dr. Cathy Slemp was a guest on Talkline and says the last pediatric flu death was in the 2017-18 flu season.

"We have been looking at general trends and we are definitely not on the downward slope yet".

Seventy-eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control so far during the 2019-2020 season.

Typical symptoms are the traditional fever, headache, body aches, chills, tiredness, weakness, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose and sore throat.

Health officials say the flu has been widespread in the Commonwealth since December 2019.

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Health officials said children who are younger than 9 who are getting the vaccine for the first time, and those under 9 who have only previously gotten one dose of the vaccine, should get two doses.

"The effectiveness varies, but on average is 60 per cent effective", Loeb said. "Like, there's this and they think people know what that is already, what it is or how you get it, but it's not that helpful when you say this big medical term and nobody (understands it)". "It is still a good idea to get it in February, ideal to get the vaccine in the fall, it protects by producing antibodies to the virus".

"Common side effects are local at the injection site like redness or swelling".

Gerrard said the health department doesn't track flu cases in the county because flu cases are not required to be reported to the state or the CDC. This season, there have been 13,460 flu-related hospitalizations.

Other precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include staying home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly and frequently washing hands with soap and water.

"If you're sick, stay at home, get your rest, avoid going to work or going to school and getting others sick. Avoid people as much as you can".

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