Flu on the rise in Ottawa County

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Flu activity in Washington state 'increasing and elevated,' Dept. of Health says

The CDC estimates more than 4.5 million people nationwide have been diagnosed with the flu this season, 39,000 have been hospitalized, and about 2,100 people have died.

As of the week ending December 28, a total of 17,349 laboratory-confirmed flu cases have been reported this season.

About 44% of the state's confirmed flu cases have been in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The ministry had, however, addressed concerns that it was not aggressively tackling spread of the virus, saying its own analyses included vigilance for any clustering of the virus in particular districts.

Katherine Hoyer, the public information officer with the Panhandle Health District, said that most cases being reported in northern Idaho have been Influenza Type B. She said that though flu activity has been reported in the panhandle, a severe outbreak of the illness has not been reported.

The Ottawa County Health Department says the amount of flu cases is on the rise over the last couple weeks of 2019.

Persons in the health care workforce and essential services are also encouraged to get the flu vaccine.

"GI symptoms are not typical of influenza and most people who get influenza feel much sicker than they would with a simple cold or stomach flu".

Basic hygiene - such as the frequent washing of hands - is also considered one of the most effective weapons against spread of the disease.

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