Department ready for flu season

Posted 9/25/09

As the number of flu-related symptoms rise in Elbert County, Elbert County Health and Environment is prepared, whether it be for the seasonal flu …

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Department ready for flu season


As the number of flu-related symptoms rise in Elbert County, Elbert County Health and Environment is prepared, whether it be for the seasonal flu season or the H1N1 season.

Director MarySue Liss said flu cases are increasing at the public health building and it is a mixture of both seasonal and H1N1 flu. She said most people affected by the H1N1 flu range from as young as infants to the age of forty. People older than 40 are affected more by the seasonal flu.

Liss said schools in the county are seeing an increase of students with flu-like symptoms. She said the department knew the schools would be hit this year, so they provided a round table in August for all the schools in the county providing information on how the school could handle the flu season.

“We provided information from the state health department guidelines and manuals that gave specific information for the schools,” she said. “This way the school would know ahead of time what to expect and how to handle the students.”

Liss said a person with flu symptoms is not currently required to be tested for H1N1. Those who feel it unnecessary to go to a physician are asked to stay at home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have subsided. Anyone with more serious symptoms who might be at risk for complications with H1N1 or seasonal flu should see a physician.

People considered at risk include:

infants and young children

pregnant women

people 65 years of age and older

people of any age with lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, weakened immune systems from cancer, HIV or immunosuppressive medications

people with kidney disease, diabetes or neurological and neuromuscular diseases

people younger than 19 years old with diseases requiring long-term aspirin therapy and individuals with other chronic diseases

Liss said the H1N1 vaccine should be available by the middle of October. Once the vaccine arrives in Elbert County it will initially be offered to a first tier of priority groups including pregnant women, caretakers of infants younger than six months old, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months to four years of age and children up to 18 years old with underlying health conditions. After the priority groups have been vaccinated, the vaccine will be available to the rest of the public.

Liss said people can work to avoid the flu by using common sense, washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

“Just take good care of yourself,” she said. “If you are feeling sick, stay home until you feel better.”

Liss said a good tool for people with flu questions is the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Information link on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Web site, She said the Web site answers basic questions, provides tips on how to avoid the flu and how to treat flu symptoms.

For information from the Elbert County Health and Environment department visit or call 303-621-3144.


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