JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting its first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza for the 2018-2019 flu season. The case was reported in an adult.
While flu cases have been diagnosed and treated by healthcare providers throughout the state already this season, this is the first case confirmed in the MSDH Public Health Laboratory, detected through the Influenza-Like Illness Sentinel Surveillance System.
Individual flu cases are not reported to the state, but the agency monitors flu activity through the ILI System, made up of healthcare providers in Mississippi who report the percentage of patients with flu-like symptoms to a statewide database.
Providers participating in the system also submit respiratory samples for flu testing to the MSDH lab. State health officials use this information to determine the presence and spread of flu throughout the state.
People 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program may receive flu vaccination for $10. Insurance, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program are accepted for children’s flu shots.
Adults who are under-insured or un-insured and who meet certain high-risk criteria qualify for a flu vaccine at MSDH county health department clinics.
Flu shots for insured adults are now widely available through private physicians, pharmacies and retailers.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle and body aches and fatigue. Most people recover from the flu without complications, but nationwide there are up to 200,000 hospitalizations from flu each year.
While vaccination is the best protection, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu and should be taken whether or not individuals are vaccinated. These measures include covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when you or your children are sick and washing your hands frequently.
To locate a county health department clinic in your area or for more information on flu, click the attached link.