FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 31, 2020
Contact: Dr. Thomas M. Canfield, MD, Montrose County Coroner
Office: Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations, (970) 252-4524 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Katie Yergensen, Montrose County Media Relations Manager
email@example.com, (970) 252-4505 or (970) 964-8701
Increase in Influenza Cases Reported in Montrose County
Montrose, CO— Montrose County Public Health is reporting an increase in influenza cases. There are at least 75 reported cases to date in Montrose County, with a recent spike in Influenza B cases.
“I strongly encourage the public to protect themselves and get a flu shot—it’s not too late to get vaccinated,” said Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Gallegos. “There is a marked increase in Influenza B cases, which typically affects children and young people.”
Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield, MD, also reported one death from complications of an influenza infection. The individual did not receive a flu vaccine this year. “The flu vaccine is one of the best methods of prevention,” said Dr. Canfield. “The vaccine can reduce the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. If you have flu-like symptoms, please see a health care provider to get tested and treatment if needed.”
Flu vaccines are available at the Montrose County Public Health Clinic at 1845 South Townsend, as well as at several health care providers across the county.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills (though not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
The flu is a highly contagious illness, which is why the CDC urges everyone to take the following steps to protect themselves and others:
- Take time to get a flu shot: While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. The CDC says it’s not too late to get this year’s vaccine.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu symptoms, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- 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 such as the flu.
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.