For the 2013 influenza season there have been 1920 influenza-like-illnesses (ILI) within Montgomery County. Of those approximately 250 tested positive for the flu. Montgomery County Public Health District was alerted of eight cases at an area facility due to the severity of the cases. Of the eight reported, four patients have died.
At the moment, no diagnosis has been made. Those affected are experiencing flu-like symptoms but have tested negative for common flu strains. The patients are currently housed at an area hospital awaiting further laboratory test results in an effort to determine the nature of the illness. Montgomery County Public Health District officials are monitoring the situation closely and will provide more information as it arises.
It is important to remember that during any influenza season that common infection control practices are the best way to prevent the spread of infection. This includes:
• Frequent hand washing with soap and water/hand sanitizer
• Coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow to avoid contamination of the hands
• Avoiding public places if you have a fever (a temperature of 100.4° f)
• Avoid sending sick children to school
• Adults should avoid going to work or public places if they have fever or ILI symptoms; if they must go to work or public places, they should wear a mask
• If you develop ILI symptoms, you should seek care by a physician because treatment for influenza is most helpful within the first 48 hours of the illness
DR. MARK ESCOTT, DEPUTY HEALTH AUTHORITY
MONTGOMERY COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT
PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT