CHARLESTON – Almost two months in the flu season 2018-19, a healthcare manager said the disease to date was "minimal".…
CHARLESTON – Almost two months in the flu season 2018-19, a healthcare manager said the disease to date was “minimal”.
“Both the percentage of flu-like disease seen in patients and the number of positive influenzae have been low,” said Lauren Spadafora, influenza coordinator at the State Department for Health and Human Resources.
One way the state traces influenza activity is the proportion of patients with different healthcare providers throughout the state that have flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include high fever along with throat or cough pain.
Spadafora said that the share has been below 2 percent so far.
“It is in the low region,” she said. “I would say we are not in high season, but are still building what the data looks like.”
The State Office for Epidemiology and Prevention Services publishes data on influenza cases on the site, https: // oeps. wv.gov.
High influenza season varies from year to year, but it is usually in winter, Spadafora said. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no way to predict how difficult a flu season will be.
“So it’s important that everyone who is eligible gets their flu vaccine,” she said.
Last year, West Virginia’s 1
7 or younger died of flu. The state tracks childbirth but not older patients, she said.
“We have not had any (childhood diseases) than this year,” she said. “And it was noted that (last) the season was one of the worst in terms of childbirth nationwide.”
CDC recommends annual influenza vaccines for all over 6 months. While a nasal spray option has not been recommended during the last two flu season, CDC recommends it as an option this year along with an injection.
“They have no preference for the nasal spray over any other vaccine,” she said.
In addition to receiving an influenza vaccine, CDC recommends preventive measures like staying at home when you are ill, avoiding close contact with sick people, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands and
While flu activity has so far been low, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Putnam County Health Department recommend that people especially take precautionary measures before and during the vacation.
KCHD spokesman John Law said that it is because many people will travel, which may expose them to different influenza.
“If you live in Charleston or West Virginia, you can get a bit of a flock immunity (h ere) because you are about the same people a lot,” said Law. “You may not be likely to get it. But if you travel you may be exposed to another strain if you are around different people. “
Influenza vaccines take about two weeks to be effective, and health officials recommend that you receive one each year as they vary depending on which
The health department Cabell-Huntington recommends influenza vaccines for all over 6 months. According to the county healthcare officers, the vaccine should be ample this year without deficiencies.
Influenza rejections are available at the Health Department, 703 7th Ave., Huntington, from 8: 00 to 5:00 Mondays and 8:00 to 3:00 Tuesdays to Fridays. Those who have internet access can print and complete the registration form in advance at www.cabellhealth.org.
Vaccines are also available at pharmacies and other healthcare providers.
Call the Health Department’s Influenza Information Hotline at 304-526-3397 for more information.
The Herald Dispatch contributed to this story .