Flu season sweeps through the Mountain State

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia is among 37 states reporting widespread reports of the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

Mon County Health Department public information officer, Mary Wade-Triplett says we’re on a record pace of infections.

“Right now, the flu cases in this time of year are higher than in recent years, other than two years ago when we had a record flu season,” Wade-Triplett said.

The CDC also says the best way to protect yourself is by getting the influenza vaccine. All residents 6 months and older should have the vaccine, especially people 65-years and older, pregnant women and with chronic health problems. The vaccine takes about two weeks to be fully effective.

Wade-Triplett says flu season will last until April or May in West Virginia.

“It will be fully effect in two weeks and the flu season in West Virginia can last easily through March, April sometimes into May, so it’s definitely worth it to get a vaccine” Wade-Triplett said,”It’s always fully effective, but they try to find the right strain each year.”

Tips to avoid the flu are frequent hand washing, keep unwashed hands away from face, nose and eyes, keep communal areas clean, wash your hands after touching communal areas and stay at least three feet away from people coughing.

If you have a typical flu strain rest and fluids is the recommendation. More severe strains can be treated with Tamiflu or Relenza.

People with the flu shouldn’t go to work or school until 24-hours after the fever has subsided.

Children and teens recovering from flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.