Flu hitting hard in Macon County

Flu cases in Macon County are rising to much higher than normal levels.

According to Diane Lakey, Infection Control Nurse at Angel Medical Center, 76 cases of flu-like illness were reported at the hospital’s emergency department.

Lakey says that flu cases at their Urgent Care Center are double or triple what they normally are.

Health Officials urge residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu, which can be deadly if left untreated.

“The big message is people who are at high-risk: older people, people with underlying illnesses, the very ill, and pregnant women try to avoid catching influenza. Also if they think they have it, at the first sign of symptoms, get to a doctor immediately and get on treatment,” said  Stan Polanski, Physician Assistant with Macon County Public Health.

“Treatments work the best if they’re started early,” he said.

Flu symptoms include fever, achiness, followed by respiratory symptoms—particularly a cough.

Those who are at a higher risk for complications such as the elderly, young children, or pregnant woman should take extra precautions such as avoiding sick people and staying away from crowds.

Health officials also ask residents to wash their hands frequently as a preventative measure.

Flu shot supplies are still available, but a vaccine may be a little more difficult to find right now due to a rush on shots in recent days.

Angel Medical Center is offering flu shots without an appointment at their Outpatient Medicine Center Monday through Friday, from 1 to 3 p.m.