November 9, 2017
Influenza season is up us. As of October 28, 2017, the most current statistics from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS), says that reports of influenza has been sporadic. Cases have been reported from fifteen counties in Montana. See chart for reported cases.
According to the DPPHS "Influenza is a contagious, upper-respiratory disease caused by different strains of influenza viruses. While many people use the imprecise term "flu" to describe 24 or 48 hour bouts of illness, real influenza can interfere with normal daily activities for as long as a week."
Influenza is not a minor inconvenience. As many as 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of it each year, and as many as 36,000 die of the disease or complications associated with it. Children under age 1, adults 65 or older and people suffering from certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of serious complications. DPPHS
Other people at high risk include pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum, residents of nursing homes and other long term facilities.
Persons with these medical conditions also at high risk are, people with asthma, heart disease, chronic lung disease, blood disorders, endocrine disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders metabolic disorders, weakened immune system, people younger than 19 who are on a aspirin regimen, and persons with extreme obesity.
For more information go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm
Seasonal Influenza information can be found at dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/influenza
You can help prevent the spread of cold and flu by: 1) getting a flu shot, 2) stay home if you are sick, 3) wash your hands, and 4) cover your cough.