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Health Department Confirms Increase in Influenza Activity

(Mason City) – Disease Prevention and Investigation Officials at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health have confirmed an increase of flu activity in our community.

“The Health Department has started to receive increased calls this week from people reporting influenza-like illness with several being lab confirmed,” states Karen Crimmings, Disease Prevention and Investigation Service Manager at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. “We have also had a couple schools report an increase of upper respiratory symptoms, including influenza as the cause, which is another indicator that influenza activity has increased in our area.”

Even though it seems late for the influenza season, it is not too late to get vaccinated. The Health Department still has vaccine available. The clinic is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – Noon and 12:30 – 4:00 PM with extended hours the first Monday of the month.

Influenza is a serious disease. Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. Influenza symptoms generally include:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches

In addition to getting a flu vaccine for protection, there are other things you can do to protect yourself from flu. The following steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
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