City of Lubbock Health Department officials report that the Lubbock area's first case of flu was diagnosed this week by a local physician and confirmed by a laboratory test.
Influenza, or flu, is an acute viral illness of the respiratory tract characterized by fever, headache, muscle aches, runny nose and eyes, sore throat and cough. Flu can be a serious illness in those over 65 years of age, or those with underlying health conditions.
Flu is frequently indistinguishable from the common cold or other viral illnesses, and can only be definitively diagnosed by laboratory testing.
Flu can be spread from person to person be coughing, sneezing, or talking. Less frequently, flu can be spread when a person touches something (such as a door knob), then touches his or her own nose or mouth.
Therapy is mainly supportive or symptomatic, but there currently exist antiviral medications for at least one form of the virus. Aspirin should not be given to children between the ages of 6 months to 18 years with colds of flu unless directed by a physician. Persons feeling ill with fever and respiratory symptoms are encouraged to see their medical provider.
Most people who get the flu will feel better in one to two weeks, but others will develop more serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.
The City of Lubbock Health Department recommends influenza vaccination (flu shots) for the following:
The Health Department provides flu vaccine clinics at a nominal fee. Persons desiring flu vaccination are encouraged to all (806) 775-2933 for clinic hours.