Flu cases on the rise in Fauquier
After two relatively mild winters, the flu is hitting Fauquier County hard - but nowhere near as hard as in 2009.
Between the beginning of October and the end of December, Fauquier Hospital's emergency department saw 130 cases of influenza, said spokeswoman Robin Earl. That's about four times the amount of cases the hospital handled in a similar time period in the previous two years: 32 in 2011, and 28 in 2010.
While the flu cases have increased, they still accounted for less than one half percent of the hospital's overall case load in December, Earl said. And this winter's figures pale in comparison to the same time period in 2009, in which the hospital saw 594 cases of the flu.
The rise in flu cases mirrors a national uptick in sickness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of Americans seeing their health care providers for flu-like symptoms has increased from 2.8 to 5.6 over the past four weeks. By contrast, last year's mild flu season peaked at 2.2 percent of citizens seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms.
CDC experts say it is not too late to get vaccinated for seasonal influenza. The CDC also recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick, keeping your hands clean, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you become sick, the CDC recommends staying home from work and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
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