First area flu case confirmed


Published: Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

The holidays are over, kids are back in school and Alachua County is reporting its first cases of influenza for the season.

Facts

Is it the flu?

Fever

Headache

Extreme tiredness

Dry cough

Sore throat

Runny or stuffy nose

Muscle aches

Stomach symptoms, particularly in children

According to Dr. Guy Nicolette, the University of Florida's Student Health Care Center saw its first confirmed flu case last week.

The Alachua County Health Department is also reporting sporadic flu activity, with cases reported by area doctors and hospitals.

For most people, catching the flu is an inconvenience, but for some, it can lead to hospitalization and even death. Each year, some 36,000 Americans die from the flu.

Jean Munden of the Alachua County Health Department said it is typical for flu to begin showing up in the community after the break for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Adults with the flu can pass along the virus to others beginning one day before symptoms develop and for up to five days after becoming sick.

Munden reminds Alachua County residents that flu shots are still available during business hours Monday through Friday at the county health department, 224 SW 24th Ave., or at the clinics in Alachua and High Springs by appointment.

Cost is $20; free with proof of Medicare Part B.

UF students and faculty can get a flu shot through the infirmary. Cost is $5 for students and $25 for faculty.

About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against the flu virus.

For more information about the flu and flu season, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, www.cdc.gov/flu.

Diane Chun can be reached at 352-374-5041 or chund@gvillesun.com

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