Flu Hits Lincoln County

The flu season has hit Lincoln County; the Lincoln County School District reports multiple students out with respiratory illness and some students have confirmed influenza lab tests. Lincoln is not the only county struggling with flu at this time; since October 1, 2016 there have been 86 confirmed flu outbreaks in Oregon. You can follow the most recent data about the flu in Oregon by visiting the Oregon Health Authority’s “Flu Bites” web page http://bit.ly/1Ljd62o.

You can still protect yourself against the flu with vaccinations. Vaccinations can be received at primary care providers’ offices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, and the public health clinic. It takes two weeks after getting the flu shot to have full immunity.

Symptoms:  Fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than in adults.

How serious is it? Most people who get the flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threating and result in death. Complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections. The flu can make chronic health problems worse.

People at High Risk from Flu: The people at risk of suffering serious consequences from the illness are young children, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease). Even healthy people can get sick from the flu at any age and suffer serious problems.

Emergency Warning Signs of Flu Sickness:

In Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or 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 rash

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

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

What are everyday preventive actions?

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • 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.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact the Lincoln County Public Health Communicable Disease Nurses, at 541-265-0587.

See press release below.