SEVERAL CASES OF THE FLU REPORTED IN HUMBOLDT AND DEL NORTE COUNTIES
Coughing, chills and a runny nose--these symptoms are similar to a cold, but it could be this year’s flu.
“Usually with the flu you have more achy-ness, more fevers, the cough is pretty pronounced,” Dr. Eric Gerdes of St. Joseph Hospital said.
Dr. Gerdes said the very worst symptoms are found in people with pre-existing conditions.
"The worst symptoms are in people who are elderly or who have some other preexisting disease that goes with it,” Dr. Gerdes said. “That usually manifests into some respiratory illness like shortness of breath or unable to breathe."
So far the flu is widespread in 47 states and although the flu is not widespread in California there have been cases locally.
There was one in Redwood Memorial Hospital, three at St.Joseph Hospital and six reported cases in the last 10 days at the Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City.
So how is it getting around?
"The flu gets transmitted by a virus and that mostly transmitted by coughing, that's airborne,” Dr. Gerdes said. “Also, contact with your hands."
According to Flu.gov, the best way to prevent is by getting the flu shot, but there are other things that can help.
"Lots of hand washing, especially with alcohol-based, hand-cleaner and just covering your mouth when you cough," Dr. Gerdes said.
He adds that if someone thinks they have the flu, it’s best to isolate yourself from others.
“The flu is generally infectious the first 48 hours of getting it,” he said.
He adds that unless you’re experiencing respiratory issues, visiting the hospital isn’t necessary.
“For just the general achy-ness, the fever, the runny nose, those people can stay home and just take over the counter remedies.”