WVN ALERT: Dramatic flu incidence
- Dear Wayland Voter,
The Wayland Health Department says that Massachusetts flu cases are much higher than usual for this time of year. The following warning was issued by the Department's health nurse, Ruth Mori:
Massachusetts Flu Activity continues to increase dramatically and is much higher than is typically seen at this time of year. Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined by fever greater than 100F, cough and/or sore throat. The week ending December 29th showed 4.4% of out-patient visits were due to ILI as reported by MA sentinel provider sites.
National Flu Activity analyzed at CDC has found that 91% of the circulating influenza viruses are those included in the 2012-2013 flu vaccine. Dr. Joe Bresee, Chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC's Influenza Division states, "Anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now".
Recommendations to prevent and control the spread of influenza-like illness include:
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by using a tissue or your inner elbow. Do NOT use your hands.
Wash hands often with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand gel. If you are handling food in a restaurant environment you should continue to follow proper hand washing protocols and wash hands often.
Stay home from work or school when sick. CDC recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
It's not too late to vaccinate. If you have not received your yearly flu vaccine please call the Wayland Health Department at 508-358-3617 to receive a free flu vaccination.