Nov 27, 2013 11:34 PM by Jennifer Horbelt

First flu case in Pueblo County; health officials urge vaccine

PUEBLO, CO- The first confirmed case of the flu has popped up in Pueblo County.

An infant was hospitalized with influenza, and is now back home and recovering.

"This confirms what we had suspected, flu (influenza) is in the Pueblo area," Katie Davis, Program Manager and Epidemiologist in the Disease Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department said. "It is important to get an annual flu shot to protect yourself and those around you from the influenza virus. Vaccine is available at doctors' offices, pharmacies and grocery stores around Pueblo."

Everyone over six months of age is encourage to get the flu shot. Those especially at a high risk of developing flu related complications are the young, elderly, people in poor health, and those living with or caring for people at high risk.

"Vaccination against flu helps protect yourself and the most vulnerable people in the community, such as newborns and those going through chemotherapy." Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director at the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

Some children younger than nine years of age will need two doses. Check with your provider.

Symptoms of the flu start suddenly and may include: fever; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; headache; body aches; chills and fatigue.

"When you experience symptoms of the flu stay home until 24-hours after your fever is gone, without the help of fever reducing medicines," encouraged Davis, who also said doing so limited the spread of the virus.

The flu vaccine is available in Pueblo, and across Southern Colorado. Make sure to check with your doctor, local pharmacies and grocery stores.

The best way to prevent spreading the flu to others is to wash your hands often, cover your cough, stay home (and keep children home) when you are sick until at least 24 hours after fever ends.

There are three simple steps you can take to prevent contracting the flu, say health officials with the Pueblo County Health Department:

1) Get your flu shot.

2) Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs.

3) Know flu symptoms.

Community flu vaccination guidelines and information is on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.



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