Health officials say the flu has officially arrived in Cass County. According to Denise Coder, Cass County Home Care Site Manager, a case of Influenza-B was was recently confirmed in a Cass County resident. It’s a nasty, respiratory infection that can be confused with the common cold, but which features some distinct differences. The symptoms include a cough, sore throat, runny nose, which are typical of the common cold. The difference is those symptoms are accompanied by a fever, muscle or body aches, and fatigue.
Influenza B is spread by droplets which are breathed in after an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be picked up from touching something that an infected person has recently come into contact with. She said the germs can live on surfaces for a little while, but not for a period of days. The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting widespread activity in all of the state’s regions, with Influenza A being the most common strain diagnosed.
Coder says there are several things area residents can do to protect themselves. First and foremost, is to get an annual influenza vaccination. Local primary care providers have the vaccine available, and the Centers for Disease Control now recommend a flu shot for everyone ages 6 months and older. And, area residents are also encouraged to practice the three C’s, in an effort to stay healthy: Cover your coughs and sneezes; Clean your hands frequently; and Contain germs by staying home when ill.
For more information about influenza prevention, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm or call Denise Coder, at (712) 243-7475.