Flu cases have been on the rise in Boone County and Missouri this month. Influenza has struck residents all over the county, according to Boone County Health officials, and noroviruses also have been increasing.
In Boone County, they have seen an increase in the number of reported laboratory-confirmed flu cases in recent weeks. It is important to remember that the number of flu cases reported may not be the actual numbers of flu cases that occurred during that time period. Not every person with the flu seeks medical care, and not everyone who does seek medical care is tested for the flu.
Total Cases between September 25, 2016 and February 11, 2017: 824*
*Note: The number of flu cases represents only reported laboratory-confirmed cases.
140* cases reported the week of January 22 – 28, 2017
225* cases reported the week of January 29 – February 4, 2017
226* cases reported the week of February 5 – February 11, 2017 Dr. Cori Repp, regional director for U.S Healthworks, says these painful stomach bugs are scary because they’re highly contagious.”So when someone doesn’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom and goes on to touch a doorknob or prepare your food, it can be transmitted to another person,” she explained.
Norovirus outbreaks happen throughout the year but the CDC says more than 80 percent occur from November to April. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fever or body aches. A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed, with the illness typically lasting about one to three days.
While Woody Allen once said 80 percent of success in life can be attributed to simply showing up, doctors advise against that when it comes to norovirus infections, or influenza that’s also been spreading rapidly around the country.
Dr. Don Bucklin, another regional director for U.S Healthworks, says do your co-workers a favor and stay home.
“You just cough a little bit and you put considerable virus into the air and it’s going to hang there for a couple of hours, so you can go to work and get a lot of people sick without trying very hard,” he said.
Bucklin says while you can’t control whether or not people stay home when they’re ill, you can help yourself by making sure you wash your hands often and use an anti-bacterial agent.
“Before I rub my nose or touch my forehead or touch my hair or touch anywhere on my head, I would always give my hands a squirt first because I don’t want to transfer virus from whatever I’ve touched to my face, where it can get into me,” Bucklin added.