Yates County has had a total of 79 confirmed cases of flu since Jan. 1

Yates County Public Health advises you to take steps to prevent sickness during flu season. Yates County is nearing its peak for lab-confirmed reported influenza cases. Reports have nearly doubled in the last two weeks. Influenza A has been the dominant strain of flu reported but we expect to start seeing Influenza B in the coming weeks. Yates County has had a total of 79 confirmed cases of flu reported since Jan. 1. Over the last 3 weeks provider offices and local schools have also reported increased levels of influenza-like illness and GI illness.

During winter and spring, illnesses such as the common cold, flu, and GI illness (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) are everywhere. Germs that usually cause mild symptoms in a healthy person can cause serious illness in infants and older adults. Take steps to protect those around you who may be at increased risk of serious illness.

Here are some tips for keeping your family healthy this flu season:

• Get your flu shot. Everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu shot. Flu season can last into May or early June. It is not too late to get a flu shot for this season.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children to do the same.

• Wash your hands before and after preparing food. Avoid preparing food for others when you are sick.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people touch often, such as toys, phones, and door knobs.

• Keep your hands away from your face. Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands can spread germs from items you touch causing illness.

• Avoid close contact, such as kissing and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. Bedding, towels, silverware, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.

• Stay home when sick.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.

• If you do get sick, seek medical attention for severe illness, and to find out if you need antiviral medication.

For more information about cold and flu season, please contact Yates County Public Health at 315-536-5160 or visit our website at www.yatescountypublichealth.org.