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WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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The Flu Invades Lincoln County

The Lincoln County School District reports multiple students out with respiratory illness and some students have confirmed influenza lab tests. Lincoln is not the only county struggling with flu at this time; since October 1st there have been 86 confirmed flu outbreaks in Oregon. You can follow the most recent data about the flu in Oregon by visiting the Oregon Health Authorities “Flu Bites” web page.

You can still protect yourself against the flu with vaccinations. Vaccinations can be received at Primary Care Providers offices, Pharmacies, Federally Qualified Community Health Clinics, and the Public Health Clinic. It takes two weeks after getting the flu shot to have full immunity.

Symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills, Cough, Sore throat, Runny or stuffy nose, Muscle or body aches, Headaches, Fatigue (tiredness), some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

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How serious is it? Most people who get the flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threating and result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience more frequent asthma attacks, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of their condition triggered by flu symptoms.

People at High Risk from Flu: The people at risk of suffering serious consequences from the illness are young children, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions (suchas asthma, diabetes, or heart disease). Even healthy people can get sick from the flu at any age and suffer serious problems.

Emergency Warning Signs of Flu Sickness:
What are everyday preventive actions?

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
• If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact the Lincoln County Public Health Department Communicable Disease Public Health Nurses, at 541-265-0587.

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