The Washington Times-Herald

Breaking News

January 11, 2013

Influenza A widespread, peaking early

Hospitals restricting visitors

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Sullender said she’s already given 500 flu vaccines in the past couple weeks Ð the same amount she generally gives throughout the entire flu season.

However, she has more on order and isn’t concerned about running out.

“The state reported this morning that we’re probably seeing the peak right now,” she said, explaining the disease is expected to run its course earlier than usual this year.

Besides vaccination, other recommendations the Red Cross has for preventing spread of the disease include:

* Cover nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and the throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into the crook of the elbow. Don’t use hands.

* Wash hands often. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

* Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

* Avoid contact with sick people.

* Stay home if sick to avoid infecting others.

Common signs of influenza include high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea. A doctor should be contacted immediately if the sick person develops fast breathing, trouble breathing, bluish skin color, an adult with pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, confusion or sudden dizziness, not drinking enough fluids, inability to eat, severe or persistent vomiting, flu-like symptoms that improve but then reappear with fever and a worse cough, not waking up, a child who’s so irritable it doesn’t want to be held or is not interacting, a child with a rash, no tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal in children.

Sullender said high fevers, cough and aches have been common with this winter’s flu, and the fever and cough are wearing people down.

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