Flu season nears end: The worst behind us, Nevada County officials say | TheUnion.com

Flu season nears end: The worst behind us, Nevada County officials say

Michael Rohm
Special to The Union

The worst of this winter's hard-hitting flu season may well be behind us, but Nevada County health experts warn the risk is far from over.

"Influenza activity is decreasing but it does remain elevated throughout the whole state," said Nevada County Director of Public Health Nursing Cindy Wilson. "We expect several more weeks of flu activity before it decreases enough to where it's not an issue. It's been a pretty bad year."

It is a year in which flu-related fatalities have doubled since the 2016-17 flu season, when 95 people died statewide. With several weeks remaining in the 2017-18 season, the fatality count has already surged beyond 200.

Nevada County is no exception, with above normal flu-related hospitalization rates, but according to Coordinator of School Health Sharon Turner, no child has died from the flu that has already claimed the lives of more than 50 children nationwide.

“Luckily, we’ve been spared from having it become a crisis.”

— Sharon Turner, coordinator of school health

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"We really have not seen anything to the extent of what other school districts have," she said. "Luckily, we've been spared from having it become a crisis."

Minimizing the effects of the flu season is as much due to thorough health practices as it is to luck.

"We've done a really diligent job," Turner said. "Our school nurses have been going into classes to teach hand washing and other ways to avoid the flu. Right now, we're doing well."

Careful hygienic practices are always valuable, Wilson agreed, but she continues to encourage everyone to get their flu vaccine.

"The more people who get the vaccination, the more protected we are as a community," she said. "Next year, get your vaccine early, but it's still not too late to get it now."

"We don't want to see members of our community getting sick," she added. "We're ready for this to be done."

Michael Rohm is a freelance writer. He can be reached at mirohm13@gmail.com