The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

December 29, 2012

Health care providers say flu appearing earlier in year

BECKLEY — Local health care providers have confirmed multiple cases of the flu over the past few weeks, a trend that usually isn’t seen until mid-January.

Nancy Ward, infection control nurse at Raleigh General Hospital, said many flu cases are being reported not only locally, but across the nation.

“The prominent strand we’re seeing is influenza AH3, which was not included in the vaccine, so even with the flu shot, you may not be protected.”

She said the symptoms of this strand of the flu are just like any other; low-grade fever, fatigue, chills, aches and coughing.

“We want to stress to the public to not visit hospitals if you have symptoms of the flu. If possible, avoid emergency room visits.”

Ward also suggests that people with flu-like symptoms avoid crowded areas to help limit spreading the virus.

Parents are urged to use discretion about sending ill children to school and attending work if they are feeling unwell themselves.

Ward said approximately 75 positive flu screens have been seen since Dec. 20 and an additional 25 cases before that.

Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital also confirmed 20 cases in the ER over the last week.

Although the prominent flu strand being reported is not included in the vaccine, Ward says she still encourages everyone to get a flu shot, as the severity can be minimized with the shot.

Elderly patients and young children are considered high risk for serious complications of the flu. Although children younger than 6 months are at high risk, they are too young to be vaccinated, so it is recommended that those who care for them be vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu vaccine, as well as taking preventative measures to stop the spread of germs and any other antiviral drugs your doctor has prescribed.

To avoid the spread of germs, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with soap and water, and try to avoid close contact with those who are already sick.

Most cases of the flu are mild and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs, but the CDC said there are emergency warning signs in both children and adults that would warrant a hospital trip.

In children, the signs are fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not interacting, being irritable and fever with a rash.

The CDC says to get medical help immediately if an infant is unable to eat, has trouble breathing, has no tears when crying, or has significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.

Signs in adults include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting.

If your symptoms are mild, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in state

    Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.

    July 31, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014

  • legion American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers? Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before hearings

     More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 31, 2014 1 Story