The Clay County Health Department recently released the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
INDIANAPOLIS -- State health officials report test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed a case of North American Human Influenza A (H1N1) in northern Indiana.
"We advise Hoosiers to practice normal precautions to avoid influenza and other respiratory diseases, such as frequent hand washing and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze," State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D., said.
Dr. Monroe reminds the public to follow basic precautionary measures to prevent the spread of a cold, influenza or any infectious disease, including:
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available,
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective,
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and
* If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
The symptoms of North American Human Influenza A (H1N1) are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Dr. Monroe recommends individuals with mild symptoms of influenza should stay home and call their health care provider for advice. If symptoms become severe, such as high fever, trouble breathing, or inability to keep down fluids, they should seek medical care.
Parents are also reminded they should not give aspirin to children with flu symptoms to alleviate fever, as it can put them at risk for Reye syndrome, a potentially fatal disease that causes numerous detrimental effects to many organs, especially the brain and liver.
"This is a novel human virus, which means we do not have a vaccine to prevent it," Dr. Monroe said. "Individuals aged 65 and older or those with chronic diseases and immune deficiencies are at higher risk for severe complications from influenza, including pneumonia.
"If these individuals have not received the pneumococcal vaccine, they should discuss with their physician getting the vaccine."