Widespread influenza reported by DHEC

Published on Monday, December 29, 2014

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Widespread influenza reported by DHEC


Widespread influenza activity was reported by DHEC in the week ending Dec. 13 with one lab confirmed death reported. Since Sept. 28 there have been 8 confirmed deaths reported.

Also reported during that week:

• 3,742 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza reported from 40 counties.

• 9,573 laboratory-confirmed cases reported this season, with cases identified in 42 counties.

• 177 lab-confirmed hospitalizations. Since Sept. 28, 514 lab-confirmed hospitalizations have been reported.

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. However, good health habits such as covering your mouth when coughing and washing your hands often help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses.

There also are antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the flu.

Some good health habits:

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.

2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick to prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Wash your hands often to help protect yourself from germs. Or clean with alcohol-based hand cleanser.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is sick. Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Flu symptoms can be any of the following: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, according to the CDC. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

Did you know?

• 67 percent of office workers have admitted to coming into the office while sick.

• The desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

• To prevent the spread of germs, wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. A helpful tip is to hum "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice.

• On average, workplace absenteeism due to personal illness annually costs businesses in the U.S. $230 per person.

• Over 35 percent of office workers clean their inbox at least once a day. Only 15 percent of office workers clean their workspace once a week or more.




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