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Influenza And Stomach Flu Season

Sonora, CA — The medical community refers to this time of year as the flu season, so far in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties there have been only “standard” or “sporadic” reports of influenza. There have been no confirmed reports in the area of influenza this year.

Calaveras County Health Director Dr. Dean Kelaita said that reports of influenza, meaning a respiratory illness that can include a cough, do not seem to be worse this year over other years or above the usual seasonal average.

Dr. Kelaita noted that a few residents, in Calaveras, and Amador County have been hospitalized with Norovirus. Several elderly residents in an assisted living facility came down with the virus. The virus is fairly common and causes what many people call the stomach flu.

Dr. Todd Stolp, Tuolumne County Health Officer, reports that Sonora Regional Medical Center has had zero positive cases of the respiratory virus, influenza.

According to Dr. Stolp the state received nearly 1,000 tests but only 15 of those were positive for influenza strain A and four were positive for influenza B. Both strains are included in the influenza vaccine. There was one death in Kern County on December 22nd from influenza.

The main way to prevent getting and spreading both Noro Virus and Influenza, which are highly contagious, is to frequently wash your hands. Dr. Stolp cautions that even though the influenza virus has not arrived yet it is best to stay at home if you experience symptoms and cover your cough with your elbow.