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Flu cases prompt Jefferson Co. to issue health advisory Friday

February 02, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A health advisory was issued Friday in Jefferson County concerning numerous cases of influenza reported in the county.

In her announcement, Dr. RoseMarie Cannarella, Jefferson County's health officer, recommends that people practice good personal hygiene habits and take steps to prevent the spread of the illness.

Getting the flu vaccine is the first and best defense, Cannarella said. Antiviral drugs are the next best defense if started within 48 hours of getting sick and can reduce symptoms and shorten the time being sick, she said.

Frequent hand washing also is key, as well as limiting contact with others if they or you are sick, she said.

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Neither Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., nor City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., have seen a large volume of flu cases through their emergency rooms, said Teresa McCabe, vice president of marketing and development for West Virginia University Hospitals-East.

In Washington County, there have been a few flu cases reported, said Maureen Theriault, spokeswoman for Washington County Hospital.

"Our urgent-care facilities on Pennsylvania Avenue and at Robinwood Medical Center have each had confirmed cases of flu," Theriault said.

The emergency department at the main hospital on East Antietam Street also has seen some flu cases, but Theriault added that the numbers are small in Washington County.

- Marlo Barnhart

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