North Dakota Department of Health Reports Increase in Influenza Activity

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is reporting that influenza activity for the 2016-17 influenza season has increased in recent weeks, according to Jill Baber, influenza surveillance coordinator for the NDDoH.

“One hundred sixteen laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported for the current flu season, with a substantial increase in reported cases in the last two weeks,” said Baber. “Flu data does not include cases of flu in people who do not go to the doctor or are not tested for flu, so we know there are more people with flu in North Dakota.”

It is never too late to protect yourself and those around you from the flu. The NDDoH urges everyone six months of age and older to get vaccinated against the flu. Flu can be particularly severe for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with a compromised immune system, but the flu can make anyone very sick. Flu vaccine supply is plentiful this year, and so far the vaccine is well matched to circulating strains.

Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. In addition to vaccination, the following precautions should be followed to fight the flu:

* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or, if soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
* Stay home from work or school when you are ill.
* Take antivirals if they are prescribed to you by a doctor.

For more information on flu and the latest flu numbers, visit http://www.ndflu.com

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