In recent weeks, the Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services Department has received several reports of influenza A in school-aged persons and young adults. Influenza A includes both typical seasonal flu and A/SWH1 or ‘swine flu.’ To date, only 1 case of swine flu has been confirmed on the Harbor.
Influenza A viruses are circulating widely throughout the state. Flu season can run into late spring, but it is not typical to see this much flu activity so late in the season.
Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, and sore throat. Fatigue, lack of appetite, runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur. Fever of 100 degrees F or above and cough are key. Influenza is not like the common cold.
People who are sick should do what they usually would. Stay home from work, childcare, school or public gatherings when you are sick with a fever and cough. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Cough into your sleeve or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Call your health care provider if you or a family member are sick enough to need medical attention.
To prevent the spread of influenza, wash your hands often, keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth, stay away from people who are sick, and avoid large crowds.
The public health department has swine flu web page that can be seen at: www.ghphss.org. The site contains basic information about the flu and links to state and national websites.