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Flu not waning, but gaining in county
Stacy Hazelwood, owner of Stacy’s Wellness Pharmacy, shows some of the prescription and over-the-counter medicine available for flu symptoms. - photo by Jennifer Woods

The flu in Warren County is still active and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Warren County School System director of attendance, Jeff Martin said, “Much of the illnesses at the schools are the flu. Hickory Creek Elementary School’s numbers are elevated.” 

In the school system on Monday, 527 were out which is 8.41% of the school’s population. On Thursday it grew to 573 students out, or 9.15%. 

At Stacy’s Wellness Pharmacy, pharmacist Stacy Hazelwood said, “Back in early January it was bad for a week or two then it died off. In the last few weeks scripts and medicine sales have increased. Another wave is coming through.” 

Hazelwood also said, “Years ago the busiest time frames were December through February, with February being the worst month. The last few years it seems to carry on into early summer. The prescriptions only help with the flu when taken in the first 48 hours of your symptoms. After that don’t waste your time or money.” 

Medical assistant Marissa Mason at Family Care Clinic said she’s not seeing evidence cases of the flu are easing.

“It’s not getting better,” said Mason. “We have seen folks with the A strand, then it was B and now it’s back to A.” 

Family Care Clinic medical assistant CeCi Romero said there are reports predicting the flu will be active all the way into May.

What you need to know according to the Centers for Disease Control:

Flu symptoms include fever or feeling feverish, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

preventive actions 

• 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-like illness, CDC recommends you 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. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.

• 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 like flu.

Take your medicine

• If you are sick with flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.

• Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines and are not available over the counter.

• Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.

• CDC recommends prompt antiviral treatment of people who are severely ill and people who are at high risk of serious flu complications who develop flu symptoms.

• For people with high-risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

• Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 48 hours of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from flu.