“The most common influenza strain circulating in Illinois and across the country has been an influenza A strainH3N2, which tends to cause more severe illness,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “However, other strainsinfluenza B, can become more common later in the season. If you still have not gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. The vaccine will help protect you and those around you from the flu strains circulating this season.”
Getting a flu shot can also reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, especially those who may not be able to be vaccinated, such as babies under six months. Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people. Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting you and those around you against flu viruses.
Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks, coughs, or sneezes. People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin. However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptoms, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.
Influenza antiviral drugs can be used for treatment of some who get sick with the flu. Many observational studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications. Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly, high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the first signs of influenza symptoms, which include sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health care provider or local health department. You can also use the online Vaccine Finder.
Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks, coughs, or sneezes. People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin. However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptom, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.
Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for treatment of some who get sick with the flu. Many observational studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications. Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly, high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the first signs of influenza symptoms, which include sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health care provider or local health department.
Parts of the body most commonly affected by frostbite due to exposed skin include the face, ears, hands, and feet. Frostbitten skin is whitish and stiff, and the area will feel numb rather than painful. To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually. Wrap the frostbitten area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc. and seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub frostbitten areas because the friction can damage the tissue.
Hypothermia is caused by a drop in body temperature to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or less and can be fatal if not detected promptly and treated properly. The condition usually develops over a period of time, anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Even mildly cool indoor temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk of hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include:
If you notice these symptoms, take the person’s temperature. If the person’s temperature is 95 degrees or below, call a doctor or ambulance, or take the victim directly to a hospital. A drop in temperature below 90 degrees can create a life-threatening situation. To prevent further heat loss, wrap the person in a warm blanket. Do not give a hypothermia victim a hot shower or bath because it could cause shock. Do not try to treat hypothermia at home. The condition should be treated in a hospital.
Dressing for the cold
If you need to be outside, the following suggestions will help keep you warm and protect your body from excessive heat loss. Wear several layers of lightweight clothing rather than one or two layers of heavy garments. The air between the layers of clothing acts as insulation to keep you warmer.
Cold weather itself, without any physical exertion, puts an extra strain on your heart so know your limits when shoveling snow, especially if you do not exercise regularly. If you have a history of heart trouble or any chronic health concerns, talk to your health care provider before shoveling snow. You should rest frequently and pace yourself when shoveling. Remember to lift the snow with your legs, not your back. If you use a snow blower, never use your hands to unclog the machine. If you become breathless, stop, go indoors and warm up before continuing. If you experience chest or arm pain or numbness, stop immediately and go indoors; you may need to call 911. Overexertion can cause sore muscles, falls, and heart attacks.
For people needing to use alternative sources of heat, IDPH has the following reminders:
Any heater that uses wood, coal, natural gas, or kerosene produces carbon monoxide (CO), so adequate ventilation is essential.
You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Symptoms of mild to moderate CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea and lethargy. Higher levels of CO exposure can cause fainting, confusion and collapse and if exposure continues, death can result.
Weathering Winter information can be found on the IDPH website, and additional safety information is available on the state’s Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). 50% of men and 80% of women infected with Chlamydia may have no symptoms. Even when Chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get yourself tested. A simple urine test is an accurate way to determine if an STI is present.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. Medication for Chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
It is very important for individuals diagnosed with Chlamydia or any STI to inform their sex partners of their potential exposure. Re-infection will reoccur if sex partners are not treated for the infection. Since informing partners can be difficult, the Health Department has specially trained staff members who can help notify partners anonymously. Repeat infection with Chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) was treated.
To decrease the risk of Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections:
Individuals wanting Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infection information or screening, may contact their primary care provider. The Stickney Public Health Department also offers information on testing sites. If you need further information, please contact Stickney Public Health District at 708-424-9200 and ask to speak with the Public Health Nursing Department.
To learn more about Chlamydia and the risk behaviors for the infection, visit CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/std
The Little Company of Mary Health Education Center offers Wake Up Call Screenings one Saturday each month from 7:30 am-noon. This one hour comprehensive screening for stroke and heart attack could save your life! Includes CBC, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel, thyroid level, liver enzymes and more. Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation. NEW this year!!! Screening for metabolic syndrome. Includes personalized visit with the wellness nurse educator. Fee $155 (value $4,000). By appointment only. Payment required at time of registration. First appointment at 7:30 am. To register and for more information call 708 423-5774.
Since 1946, the Stickney Public Health District has provided community-based public health services to the residents of Stickney Township. Our service area includes the City of Burbank, the Villages of Stickney and Forest View, unincorporated areas of Central Stickney and Nottingham Park, and parts of the Village of Bridgeview (east of Harlem Avenue). We are focused on making Stickney Township a healthy place to live and work.
Aligned with our mission, the Stickney Public Health District has goals to promote physical activity and healthy eating; reduce obesity; and decrease the level of untreated high blood pressure in our community. We work together with many partners --- community-based organizations, schools, senior homes to name a few – to develop and implement programs and initiatives that make healthy living easier for our residents.Visit the Cook County Public Health website for more information concerning the Healthy Hotspot program.
The Cook County Department of Public Health is asking suburban Cook County adults, ages 18 years and older, for information about conditions in our communities that support health. Conditions that support health include: affordable housing, health services, job opportunities, good schools, public transportation, recreation, community safety, and more.
Answering a few questions can help the health department and our partners improve your community's health. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is available in English and Spanish.