Flu rampant in Roanoke-Chowan area

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

By Dr. Colin Jones

Chief Medical Officer

Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center


The Roanoke Chowan area is in the midst of a significant outbreak of flu and flulike illnesses, but it is not too late to get a flu shot. Anyone who has not yet received a flu vaccine would be wise to do so now.

To further reduce your risk of getting the flu, avoid people who are coughing or sneezing.  Any time you touch items in public such as doorknobs or shopping cart handles wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before touching your food or your face with your hands.

If you have cold or flu symptoms such as runny nose or cough, try to avoid spreading infection. Cough or sneeze into a handkerchief or bring your elbow to your face to prevent the spray. If you are running fever with those symptoms, stay at home and rest rather than expose others to your infection.

If you have typical flu symptoms of fever over 101, shaking chills and generalized achiness, you may shorten the course of flu by getting antiviral medication within 48 hours of the onset of your symptoms.

People with chronic illnesses like diabetes, COPD, asthma, HIV, sickle cell, cerebral palsy or are pregnant or those over 65 or under the age of 2 years should definitely seek antiviral treatment with onset of symptoms or if someone in their immediate household gets the flu.

If you have just cold symptoms but have persistent fever over 101 or are coughing up thick yellow-green mucus recurrently you may have a bacterial infection and may benefit from antibiotic treatment from your medical clinic.

Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center is a not-for-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, committed to providing quality service and comprehensive healthcare, regardless of the ability to pay, to meet the needs of the rural community, including the uninsured.

If you would like more information on RCCHC or the services provided, please contact the corporate office at 252-209-0237 or visit the website at www.rcchc.org. New patients are accepted.