By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian
After a low-key number of flu cases last season, this year is shaping up to be more active, with reports of outbreaks in several states causing some clatter.
One confirmed case of influenza has been reported so far in Marion County, said Donna Riffle, nursing director at the Marion County Health Department.
Bob White, regional epidemiologist with the Monongalia County Health Department, said West Virginia has been experiencing sporadic cases of the virus and could be on the eve of something bigger.
“We’re seeing higher levels in Florida than at any time last year, so we figure we’ll start seeing flu cases before Christmas.”
The five states cited by health officials where higher levels than normal have been reported are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
As usual, the emergence of flu has health officials calling on people to take measures to avoid the virus.
“It’s still not too late for people to get flu shots,” White said.
That, as well as good hygiene, can be a savior in the effort to avoid the flu.
“People should be making sure they wash their hands, have good cough etiquette and when they are sick, they need to stay home,” Riffle added.
The Marion County Health Department has more than 200 doses of flu vaccine remaining, Riffle said Wednesday, the same day the agency held its weekly vaccination clinic.