Starke County Health Nurse, Frank Lynch, says the State and the Health Department are reporting a lower number of flu cases.
“The last flu report I got was for the last week of 2011, but flu is actually staying a little below what we were seeing last year,” he stated.
Lynch said the reason for the reduced number of flu cases varies.
“Many things can attribute to it. I would love to say that it’s good hand washing techniques, but it could be anything from the economy, people not going out and coming within close contact with other persons spreading the flu and we don’t have as strong of viruses out there that we had last year. It could be vaccination rates. It could be any number of things, but right now, whatever it is, it’s working for us. We’ve got lower flu rates than what we had last year.”
Lynch was asked if the H1N1 strain is still a factor.
“H1N1 is still out there. It’s still prominent. The last report that I saw, H1N1 was about 56 percent of the flu cases that they were testing and the last report that I’ve seen, there were only two positive H1N1 cases for Indiana out of the 2,000 and some that have been tested. It’s kind of dwindling off. H1N1 is one that usually you see it more in the summer time and in the warmer months, whereas regular seasonal flu is seen in the colder months. We’re coming up on February and March which are usually the peak months for seasonal flu activity.”
The best way to avoid getting the flu is to wash your hands frequently, avoid contact with people already suffering from the flu and to sneeze into a tissue and throw it away when done.