Increased Flu Cases

Healthcare providers in the Fond du Lac area are seeing increased influenza cases since the holidays. “Influenza can make people of any age ill,” according to Kayla Ericksen, infection preventionist with Agnesian HealthCare. “Although most people are ill with influenza for only a few days, some have a much more serious illness and may need to be hospitalized.”

So far, all the positive influenza tests from Agnesian HealthCare have been the H1N1 strain, which was included in this year’s vaccine. Ericksen also notes that the H1N1 strain this year appears to be causing illness in children to middle-aged adults however any age can be affected by this strain.

How do you know for sure you have the flu? Influenza is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, muscle aches, sore throat and a nonproductive cough.

The influenza virus is generally passed from person to person by a droplet transmission, such as sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on objects, such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, telephone receivers, and eating or drinking utensils.

For more information on influenza, influenza vaccine and its availability, contact your healthcare provider or the Fond du Lac County Health Department at (920) 929-3085 or (800) 547-3640.