Flu-related hospitalizations and deaths are being reported in California and locally in Kern County.
The flu seems to be hitting young and middle-aged adults the hardest this year, rather than seniors and children. This is typical of the most prevalent strain of flu currently circulating, known as the H1N1 strain of influenza.
Flu is spread through tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk.
These droplets land in the mouths or noses of others nearby. You may pass the flu virus on to someone else before you even know you are sick.
Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever (100.5 degrees Fahrenheit and greater), rapid onset of body aches, chills, productive cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
During this severe flu season, it is important to be reminded of common practices to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu:
- Get an annual flu vaccination, it is not too late
- Wash your hands frequently
- Cover your cough and sneeze (sleeve or tissue)
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Avoid close contact with others who are sick
If you have chronic medical conditions and suspect you may have the flu, see your medical provider.
If you have questions or would like more information about the flu, please call Public Health at (661) 277-2244 or visit www.cdc.gov/flu.