From Mono County Health Department
Pediatricians in Mammoth are currently seeing a lot of influenza cases, and report that it is rampant in local schools.
Northern Inyo Hospital has also seen some people with influenza this week, and some flu deaths have already been reported in other parts of California. It is somewhat unusual to see widespread influenza so early in the autumn season.
Influenza season 2019-2020 has officially started and Mono County health care facilities should implement seasonal influenza infection control policies and procedures.
Influenza illness typically occurs in waves of different strains during the colder months and most of the activity at this time is reportedly Influenza type B. Influenza vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season is available and contains the Influenza A and B antigens deemed most likely to affect our communities this season.
Influenza is characterized by cough with fever, typically with sore throat, and often headache and muscle aches. People with chronic medical conditions are most likely to develop serious illness, especially the elderly, but every year some healthy people, including children, die of influenza. Antiviral medication can reduce the severity of illness if it is started early and is recommended for higher risk people.
Influenza vaccination prevents many deaths and hospitalizations in the United States every year and reduces absenteeism at work and school. The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing influenza averages about 60% and depends in part on the match between the strains in the seasonal vaccine and which viruses end up circulating in the
community. Even when vaccination fails to prevent influenza it is believed to often reduce the severity of disease.
Influenza vaccination is currently available at local health clinics, pharmacies and health departments. The Mono County Health Department is currently conducting annual flu shot outreach clinics at schools and in communities around the
county but with flu’s unexpectedly early arrival I recommend seeking immediate vaccination anywhere it is available.
Remaining Mono County Health Department Influenza Vaccination Clinics and School Vaccination Dates:
10/08 Paradise Fire
10/08 Swall Meadows
10/10 Bridgeport Health
School Clinics left…
10/17 Mammoth Middle
10/23 Lee Vining Schools
Head Start 10AM