Influenza aka "The Flu" is not the common cold. Influenza can cause intense coughing, high fevers, and severe body aches. Influenza sufferers often describe the illness as the worst sickness they have ever had. Influenza is very contagious in fact one of the most contagious diseases infecting humans. Influenza frequently causes severe illness usually in people over 65 or younger than 5 who have underlying illness. This year is different. Influenza is also causing severe illness and deaths in people UNDER 65. California counties have reported an increase in influenza cases requiring hospitalization. There have also been reports of critical cases requiring life support - most of them between the ages of 30 and 65. Some of them have underlying illness, some were previously healthy. There are a few ways to prevent illness in yourself and others:
1. Get vaccinated. Madera and Mariposa County Health Department has vaccine. Local pharmacies also have vaccine.
2. Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
3. Avoid touching your face with your hands.
4. If you have a cough, and/or sore throat AND a fever 100 F or above STAY HOME.
5. If students or employees have a cough, and/or sore throat AND a fever 100F or above SEND THEM HOME immediately.
6. Medication to reduce fevers can make people feel better but they are STILL CONTAGIOUS. "Stay Home" or "Send Home" until the fever has abated for 24 hours WITHOUT medication.
Mariposa County Health Department has a no cost publication available to help you, your family, and friends prevent, treat and recover from the flu. If you would like a copy, please stop by the office at 5085 Bullion to pick one up.
If you have any questions about influenza call the Mariposa County Health Department at (209) 966-3689.