As of the last week in November of 2014, a large increase of Influenza (flu) has occurred in Churchill County. According to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Churchill County has experienced 61 cases of influenza in this flu season, almost all occurring within a two week period. Churchill County has not experienced such a large influx of influenza cases in such a short period of time since 2009.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms: fever/feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny/ stuffy nose, muscle/ body aches, headaches, very tired, and some may have vomiting and diarrhea. It is most likely that flu viruses spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications, including older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease).

The single best way to prevent the flu is for everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccine each season. If you need the flu vaccine, contact your doctor. On Dec. 16, 17 and 18, there will be a free flu vaccine clinic at Banner Churchill Community Hospital located at 801 E. Williams Ave., Fallon, from 4 to 6 p.m. each day.