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COVID-19, flu cases rising in Jackson County

Jackson County Public Health is reporting an increase in COVID-19 and flu cases locally.

Public health officials are asking the public to take action to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 and the flu virus.

Officials said the best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and COVID-19 and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated. Good health habits can also reduce the spread of virus-borne illnesses, including avoiding people who are sick, staying home when you are sick, covering your cough, washing your hands and wearing a properly fitted mask.

If you have COVID-19-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms, public health officials said it’s crucial to get tested as soon as possible, especially if you are considered to be at high-risk of developing complications from the flu or COVID-19. There are medications available to help treat the flu and COVID-19, but these medications have to be started early in order to be effective, which is why early testing is critical, officials said.

Other infections can cause flu or COVID-19-like symptoms, so it remains essential that medical providers diagnose respiratory infections by testing. Also, people can have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, public health officials said.

Flu symptoms may include fever, chills, coughing, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea, health officials said.

COVID-19 can cause those same symptoms, plus people may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or a new loss of taste or smell.

For more information on the similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm.

For information on COVID-19 treatment options, see govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-treatments.

A medical provider must provide a prescription for access to COVID-19 treatment in Jackson County, public health officials said.

For information on where to get vaccinated against COVID-19, call 211 or visit jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Vaccine-Appointments/where-to-get-vaccinated-in-jackson-county.

For information on flu treatments, see www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/index.html.

For information on where to get a flu shot, call 211 or see www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/.