The good news is that the graphic showing the number of cases of flu-related illnesses at Kane County hospital emergency rooms is definitely on the downward side of the arc for Week 1 of the new year.
The bad news is that a sixth outbreak was reported at a long-term care / assisted living facility in Kane County this week.
Influenza-related illnesses peaked somewhere around Week 51 of 2014, with about 8 percent of hospital ER visits related to the flu. Since then, the numbers have steadily dropped to about 4.6 percent, as you can see by the red line in this chart. That’s a decrease of 38 percent from previous week.
With school returning in session, we will soon start to get a feel for the number of absenteeism in Kane County schools due to the flu. School wasn’t in session for Week 1, which ran from Dec. 28, 2014, to Jan. 3, 2015, but it’s probably a good idea for parents to pay attention to notices from your local school district and to keep your kids at home if they show signs of flu-like illness.
Another great resource is the Kane County Health Department website, which contains loads of information, including news alerts and the weekly surveillance report.
Symptoms of the Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills (It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.)
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.