For the Cumberland Times-News
KEYSER, W.Va. — West Virginia is among the areas in the nation experiencing an earlier influenza season, according to the Mineral County Health Department.
Flu and flu-like illness activity is increasing in all areas of the state. To prevent widespread flu in day cares, schools or workplaces, the health department recommends that residents stay home and contact their health care provider if experiencing flu or cold symptoms.
• Fever greater than 100°F; children should stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever and are no longer taking fever-reducing medicines.
• Vomiting, diarrhea and chills.
• General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches.
• Frequent congested cough.
• Nasal congestion with frequent blowing of nose.
To help prevent the flu and other colds, wash hands frequently; do not touch eyes, nose or mouth; cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Use a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year. Contact the health department at 304-788-1321.