The number of influenza or flu cases reported to the Nodaway County Health Department has increased in the last week. Flu activity is also increasing throughout Missouri as well as across the United States.   

Nodaway County Health Department Public Health Nurse Supervisor Tabitha Frank said the county typically sees an increase in flu cases after the holidays in January and February as people mingle with family members from other areas.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms usually come on quickly and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year, Frank said. It is not too late to get vaccinated. The Nodaway County Health Department has plenty of flu vaccines available and encourages anyone that has not yet received a flu vaccine to get vaccinated.

Most of the cases the health department in Nodaway County sees are influenza A. Frank said the vaccines offered contain a dead sample of the influenza A virus, along with others to offer maximum protection. Since the vaccine samples are dead, she said it is impossible to get sick from the vaccine.

  Additional ways to protect you and your family from the flu include:

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing

• Wash your hands often with soap and water

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

• Avoid close contact with sick people

• If you are sick with the flu, stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible.

“Now that we are seeing cases, it is important for those who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated, not only to protect themselves, but to protect others,” Frank said.

For more information on influenza, go to contact the Nodaway County Health Department at 660.562.2755.