Getting sick: Fact vs. fiction
More Whatcom County residents are coming down with the flu, according to a weekly report from the Whatcom County Health Department.
Flu A viruses are the ones that are sickening people in Whatcom County, other parts of Washington state and the nation, according to public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Whatcom County, a total of 106 tests came back positive for the flu during the week ending Feb. 2, the latest data available. That was up from 57 confirmed cases the previous week, according to the Whatcom County Health Department flu report.
No flu deaths have been reported in Whatcom County yet this flu season.
But three people in Skagit County have died from the flu this season, according to Skagit County Public Health.
Like the rest of the country, flu activity is elevated in Washington state, according to the CDC.
But it’s nowhere near as bad as other parts of the country, where widespread illness forced schools in Idaho, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee to close this past week, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Flu symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.
What can you do to protect yourself against illness?
The Whatcom County Health Department made the following recommendations.
Get vaccinated: It’s the best protection against the flu. The vaccine is recommended for those 6 months and older.
Other steps: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Avoid touching your face and eyes. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough.
If you’re sick: Stay home from work and school. Stay away from those who are ill.