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Very little flu activity reported in county

By Staff | Jan 26, 2018

The North Dakota version of the flu is nasty this year, and during the week of Jan 7-13, flu activity sharply increased in the U.S. (per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and will continue to spread another six weeks. North Dakota flu deaths to date are 12. The latest deaths happened in the week ending Jan. 13, which were two young children.

The health department says there were 619 flu cases reported last week in North Dakota, bringing the total seasonal cases to 2,520. Some 145 people have been hospitalized because of the flu.

The good news is that the Pierce County Schools are reporting very little activity so far.

The high school reported “very little cold and fly activity this year so far,” said a school secretary. “We’ve been lucky.”

The Ely Elementary School secretary said, “We do lots and lots of hand washing, but fortunately, we have not had it bad yet this year. There were a few days around Thanksgiving that it looked like we might be getting it, but it didn’t happen.”

Larry Zavada, superintendent of the Wolford School District, said that the school had the Pierce County Health Nurse give two presentations to K-6 and grades 7-12 on Wednesday.

“We are very lucky we have had no reports of the influenza yet this year, but because of the high risk it presents, we decided to have the health nurse talk to all the kids,” he said. “Last year I got the flu, and this year for that reason I wanted to be as proactive as possible.” Zavada said the flu was awful.

The flu this year is particularly hazardous to both the young and the immune compromised- which has been identified as people older than 65; people that have diabetes; are cancer survivors or have other conditions, such as heart episodes.

If you get the flu, or early flu symptoms, such as extreme tiredness, backaches and body aches, early on antiviral drugs may be a treatment option. The key to this option is to get this drug within the first 48 hours. Antibiotics are of no use for a virus. The problem with the flu is identifying when it has advanced to complications that may require antibiotics.

The Public Health Department states that staying hydrated is foremost at the beginning of the flu. Try drinking small amounts of water, Gatorade, or juices as tolerated. Indications of dehydration in children is different than in adults. Children may cry without tears. Their fever may spike and they will sleep a lot in the first day or two. “Children should be watched for complications if they are to quiet,” said one nurse at the Heart of America Medical Center. “Get them to treatment if symptoms of high fever, restlessness, vomiting or diarrhea do not resolve themselves quickly.”

When in doubt, call your doctor and make an appointment. Stay home, wash hands often and avoid others until you feel better. The standard flu usually lasts 5-7 days. Remember children may be contagious longer than adults.

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