Some old grinch has brought a pre-Christmas gift to Salt Lake, but this one won't be very popular. It's the flu.
The first case of Influenza B has been identified in a Salt Lake County adult male. The highly contagious disease is expected to make many more residents miserable during the holidays.State epidemiologist Craig Nichols said this flu is characterized by sudden onset of fever, headaches, fatigue and muscle aches. Suffers will frequently have chills and a dry, hacking cough.
"Influenza B is predominately a respiratory disease, but children will often complain of severe muscle aches, especially in the legs," Nichols said. "It is not unusual to experience abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting."
Nichols recommends that high risk individuals, those with chronic heart and lung conditions, should avoid infected persons and large crowds. They should seek medical advice from their physicians.
Unfortunately, the anti-viral drug used to treat Influenza A is not effective in treating Influenza B.
"However, we always are a little cautious when we have our first isolate because we are not sure that it represents the total outbreak," Nichols said.