Significant Increase in Flu Cases in Taney County

Taney County Health DepartmentPress Releases

The Taney County Health Department (TCHD) reports a significant increase in flu activity in the county with lab-confirmed cases for the season doubling in recent weeks. Forty-three new cases of lab-confirmed flu were documented from 12/17/17 through 12/23/17 by area providers, bringing the season’s total up to 86 cases. Children aged 5-14 years were especially affected, accounting for 27 of the new cases last week. TCHD promotes prevention as the best way to protect yourself from severe effects of the flu. Vaccination is recommended for everyone over six months old, but is particularly important for those persons at higher risk of severe illness, such as pregnant women or persons with certain underlying medical conditions.
“This is shaping up to be a particularly bad flu season and getting your annual flu shot is one of the best things people can do to limit their risk.” said Nathan Koffarnus, Epidemiologist for the Taney County Health Department.
While vaccination should be the first line of defense, practicing good hand washing and other good health habits help prevent the spread of the flu and other seasonal illnesses. People who are ill should take actions to stop the spread of germs such as:
 While sick, limit contact with others
 Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
 Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Those at highest risk – the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or those with other health conditions – who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
“With schools being out for the holiday season, hopefully we will see the spread somewhat limited in the school-aged population for the next few weeks,” says Koffarnus. “The flu may be a fairly common illness but it can still be deadly, so it is important to take whatever steps you can to limit your risk of contracting it.”
For more information, or to schedule your flu shot, call the Taney County Health Department at (417) 334-4544 or (417) 546-4725.