So you’re sick. What do you have? A virus? A cold? The flu?
Do you have a 100-degree or higher fever? A cough and/or sore throat? A runny or stuffy nose? Do you have a headache and/or body aches? Chills? Fatigue? Stomach issues?
If you answered yes to these, you may indeed have the flu. It is, after all, going around the county. The Marion County Health Department has seen positive cases of the flu. In the first week of January, the county had 31 diagnosed cases of the flu. Of those cases, almost all were influenza type A, and many were H1N1, which is a strain of influenza type A. Marion County also had 107 reports of influenza-like illness.
Granted, those were just people who sought medical attention and were tested for the flu. Many, many people may have suffered through the “storm” at home using over-the-counter remedies, chicken soup and lots of tissues.
Haven’t been exposed? There certainly still risk, as the flu season lasts from October through March. And there’s also hope. It is not too late to get the flu vaccine. The flu shot is recommended for most people, but especially for children, people over 65, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases.
And there are preventative things you can do, like practice good hand-washing techniques and regularly cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched. And if you’re sick, the best thing you can do is stay home or risk causing someone else the misery you’ve gone through.
We were curious about how our readers prepared themselves for the flu season. Last week, we asked our readers to respond to the following question on our online poll, which can be found at www.timeswv.com: It’s the flu season. How do you protect yourself and your family from the nasty germs?
And here’s what you had to say:
• I ought to buy stock in bleach and hand sanitizer. I am constantly vigilant about germs — 4.11 percent.
• I avoid those who are possibly ill and practice good hand washing and sanitizing — 32.88 percent.
• I get a flu shot and go about my life — 63.01 percent.
Regardless of how you prepare, try to stay healthy.
This week, let’s talk about stress. Some jobs out there are pretty stressful, and a recent report ranked them. Which professions do you think are the most stressful?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
So you’re sick. What do you have? A virus? A cold? The flu?
Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech
By nature, and by profession, we do not like lies. As journalists, we’re truth tellers. Or at least we attempt to get at the truth through research, attribution, documents and comments from people on either side of an issue.
Sometimes it ends up with “telling lies from both sides,” as a crusty reporter once mused a handful of years ago.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
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- Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech