Local News

January 4, 2013

Flu hitting hard this season


The No. 1 measure against flu continues to be vaccination, and officials say it is not too late to receive a flu shot for this season.

“This year’s vaccine is right on target,” Williams said of the vaccine’s ability to combat the current strains of influenza.

People who receive the flu shot may still fall ill if they come into contact with the virus, but their symptoms will not be as severe as they would be without the shot, she added.


With gastrointestinal illness, a person will experience vomiting and diarrhea, but the symptoms will last only a few days, Plotas-McGrath noted.

Flu symptoms will include fever, coughs and body aches that can last for a week or longer.

Washing hands regularly can help prevent the spread of both diseases. Also, people should cough into their sleeve and not into their hands. When using tissues, people should dispose of them properly.

If an illness lasts for more than a couple of days, people should see their primary-care physician, who can determine the severity of the disease and prescribe a proper treatment plan for that illness, health officials say.

“If you’re going into the doctor’s office or to the ER, wear a mask,” Wood said.

“If your kids have symptoms, keep them home.”

Email Jeff Meyers:



Tips to preventing the spread of infectious disease:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissues in a wastebasket.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Stay home while ill; if you must go into the public, wear a surgical mask.

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