Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 9, 2014

Flu virus activity is increasing in Illinois

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Melaney Arnold, an IDPH spokesperson, said the vaccine remains the most effective way to guard against the flu virus.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot and those who have not need to get one,” Arnold said.

The most common types of flu viruses this season have been the H1N1 viruses, which emerged in 2009 and caused a pandemic.

Younger adults and children, particularly those with chronic medical conditions or who were pregnant, were the hardest hit during the H1N1 outbreak, states an IDPH news release.

As a result, experts say young and middle-aged adults may be most affected by this season’s flu if H1N1 continues to circulate widely, the release states.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Other less common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea.

People with these symptoms should stay home until 24 hours after their fever is gone. They should also remember to wash their hands frequently and cover their coughs and sneezes.

Normal health department hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with lunch closure from noon to 1 p.m.

The department also has “late days” on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The hours on these days are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with lunch closure from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For more information on flu prevention, contact the health department at 244-7134. You can also visit www.flu.gov or www.idph.state.il.us.

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