Flu is now widespread across the state

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Delaware County Senior Medical Advisor alerts residents to significant rise in flu activity

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, flu activity has increased across the state. The highest activity is reported in the Northeast and Southeast regions.

Delaware County’s Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. George Avetian, provided an update and offered advice to residents suffering from the flu and also tips on prevention.

Dr. Avetian urges all residents to get a flu shot if they haven’t done so already. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. The vaccine is especially important for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions, who may have an increased risk of complications from the flu.

In addition to getting vaccinated, residents should take common-sense precautions to prevent getting and spreading the flu. These include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay at home when ill.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used.
  • Clean and disinfect high use surfaces.

The incubation period for the flu is one to five days, although symptoms most commonly start within 48 hours of exposure. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, nasal congestions and body aches.

What to Do If You Get the Flu:

  • Rest.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Treat a fever, headache, and achiness with acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve.)
  • Ask your doctor about an antiviral medication such as such Tamiflu. Antiviral medication can shorten the flu by one to three days, ease symptoms, and reduce flu complications if taken within 48 hours of getting sick.

It is estimated that 5-20% (600,000 to 2,400,000) of Pennsylvanians get the flu each year, and 120 to 2,000 people die from complications of influenza. Influenza viruses are spread from person to person. This can happen when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can pass the flu to someone else both before and while you are sick. People over the age of 65, young children, pregnant women and people with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu.

More information on seasonal influenza can be found here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Flu/Pages/Flu.aspx

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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