Oswego County urges residents to stay home when sick

Flu cases on the rise in New York

OSWEGO COUNTY – With more flu cases reported, the Oswego County Health Department is urging residents to stay home if they are sick and take other preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus.

“Influenza activity, primarily the H3 strain of influenza A, is currently prevalent in New York State,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County director of public health. “The last time we saw the flu spread this early in the season was during the 2012-13 flu season. “

He added that vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. “The flu shot is effective and abundant; However, there are other important steps residents of Oswego County can take to reduce their risk of contracting and spreading the flu and other respiratory illnesses, not only at this time of year, but throughout. year round.

Huang urged all residents to take the following actions:

  • People 6 months of age or older should get the flu shot.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Throw the tissue in the trash after using it and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. The flu and other respiratory viruses are spread this way.
  • Try to avoid contact with sick people.
  • Wear a face mask when you are in public.
  • Stay home when you are sick and do not return to school or work until you have been fever-free and drug-free for at least 24 hours.

If you are diagnosed with the flu, talk to your doctor about antiviral drugs. “Most people with the flu have mild illness and don’t need medical care or antiviral drugs,” Huang said. “If you become ill with flu symptoms you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to seek medical attention.”

Jodi Martin, Oswego County Public Health Nurse, recommended that people at high risk of serious illness and flu-related complications contact their health care provider at the first sign of the flu to see s ‘it is appropriate to prescribe them an antiviral. medication, which may reduce the severity of the flu.

People at higher risk for serious illness and complications from the flu are:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Children under 5 years old, especially children under 2 years old.
  • People aged 65 and over.
  • People with respiratory disorders, including asthma, chronic lung disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • People with other underlying health conditions including obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, blood disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological disorders, neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis).
  • People with weakened immune systems (including those with HIV / AIDS).
  • People under the age of 19 who are taking long-term aspirin therapy.

The Oswego County Health Department has a flu shot. Flu shots are available Mondays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. No appointment is necessary.

Flu shots for children and adults cost $ 37 and are covered by Medicaid and most insurers. The health department can bill UMR POMCO Select, Excellus BCBS, Fidelis, United Health Care Community Plan (Medicaid), United Health Care Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid and Medicare directly.

For insureds covered by other insurers, the health service will provide a receipt that patients can give to their insurer for possible reimbursement. For those who are uninsured, the health service may be able to provide the vaccine at a reduced rate. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The flu vaccine is also widely available at most local pharmacies and primary health care offices.

For more information about the flu shot and how to prevent the flu, contact a primary health care provider. People can also call the Oswego County Health Department on weekdays at 315-349-3547. Additional information about the flu is available on the New York State Department of Health websites at www.nyhealth.gov or the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www. flu.gov.

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