Influenza, also known as the flu, is a very contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) is seeing an increase in patients with influenza. There have been 72 confirmed cases at BRMH since October. Two patients have required hospitalization. Those that are more at risk include the elderly and the very young as they may have a weaker immune system.
Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Cold symptoms can include having a stuffy head, runny nose, coughing, and headaches. The flu includes fever/chills, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and extreme fatigue. Special tests can be done within the first few days to confirm whether you have a cold or the flu.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever over 100 degrees, vomiting or diarrhea, call your primary care physician. There are medications that can help treat patients. To avoid spreading the flu, stay home until you do not have any more symptoms, usually 48 hours.
BRMH Infection Prevention Nurse RyAnne Inglett stated, “It’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your family. In addition, washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu and other illness.”
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