“The members of the public health community would like to extend our sympathies to the family for their loss,”
added Mike Bacon.
Influenza-like Illness (ILI) is well above the normal seasonal levels for this time of year. We want to remind
everyone, especially those with chronic medical conditions to take everyday preventive actions to avoid getting
the flu. Those at risk for flu complications should consult their healthcare provider right away upon developing influenza-like illness (fever greater that 100°F and cough or sore throat).

People at increased risks for flu complications include:
 

·         Children younger than 5, but especially younger than 2 years old
·         People 65 and older
·         Pregnant women
·         People who have:
·         Cancer
·         Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
·         Chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]
·         Diabetes  
·         Heart disease  
·         Kidney disorders
·         Liver disorders
·         Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)
·         Neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
·         Weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)
Symptoms of H1N1 flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting as well. Make decisions about when to seek medical care as you would under normal circumstances. It is not necessary to seek medical attention if you have mild symptoms for which you would not ordinarily seek medical care.
            

If you do become more severely ill, and experience any of the following warning signs, seek medical care immediately with any of the following:
For children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing, • Bluish or gray skin color (call 911 immediately), • Not drinking enough fluids, • Severe or persistent vomiting,• 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.
For adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, • Sudden dizziness, • Confusion, • Severe or persistent vomiting, • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
Since April of 2009, Winnebago County Health Department reports 81 cases, 23 hospitalizations associated with H1N1 and two deaths. In Illinois there have been 542 hospitalizations and 22 deaths related to H1N1 influenza.
This is a difficult reminder to all of us that influenza can be a serious infection, especially to anyone with underlying medical conditions. We all can take actions to prevent contracting and spreading influenza. These actions include:
Getting your seasonal flu vaccination
Getting your 2009 H1N1 vaccination when available and,
Following the 3 C's
  • Clean dash; properly wash your hands frequently
     
  • Cover dash; cover your cough and sneeze
  • Contain dash; contain your germs by staying home if you are sick
The Winnebago County Health Department continues to monitor for signs of increased virulence of H1N1 flu. For more information on H1N1 influenza log onto the Winnebago County Health Department website at www.wchd.org, or the following sites:
 
Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov
Illinois Department of Public Health www.idph.state.il.us
Illinois Emergency Management Agency www.ready.illinois.gov
Health and Human Services at: www.flu.gov
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