Officials with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) report that while overall flu activity in Wyoming is low, it is increasing in northeastern and central Wyoming.

Reggie McClinton, an epidemiologist with the department, says those trends are in line with a national trend of increasing flu cases. He also said last year's Wyoming flue season was especially severe, with 27 deaths reported across the state, far more than is typical. Influenza is a contagious, respiratory illness caused by a virus.

Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. State epidemiologist Dr. Alexa Harrist said just because the flu is a familiar disease, that doesn't mean people shouldn't take it seriously.

She also said ''nearly everyone six months or older" should get a flu shot. Shots are available at public nursing offices, retail stores, clinics, and other locations. She also advised people who are sick to stay home from work or school and said frequent hand washing is also a good practice for preventing the spread of the virus.

For people who already have the flu, doctors may recommend antiviral medications. These medications are especially useful for people at higher risk for complications from the flu.

But for the antiviral medications to work, people need to seek medical care soon after they become ill.


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