Butte County spared from California influenza outbreak

This year already, California has experienced an influenza outbreak that hospitalized dozens of people and left several dead.

However, Lisa Almaguer, the communication manager for Butte County Public Health, believes Butte County is better off than other part of California.

“(Influenza is) not as heavily impacted (in Butte County) as some other parts of the state,” Almaguer said.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website, influenza outbreaks have increased significantly from December to the first week of January.

The CDPH reported that from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2 there was one influenza outbreak and one death reported. Whereas from Dec. 31 to Jan. 6, there were 68 outbreaks and 15 deaths reported.

Almaguer said that one type of influenza that is on the rise is respiratory influenza, meaning that it’s not necessarily the typical “flu” that everyone thinks it is, but rather it consists of symptoms such as chills, a fever and/or coughing.

Almaguer also noted that the flu vaccination is 33 percent effective meaning that one-third of the population will receive protection from the flu and flu like symptoms. To prevent getting influenza she also suggested staying home if you’re feeling ill, not going out in public, covering your mouth with your elbow if you cough/sneeze and washing your hands.

Kelsi Sibert can be reached at [email protected] or @ksibertofficial on Twitter.