By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Germans would call it die grippe zeit. As winter sets in, so does flu season.
In Ste. Genevieve County, both flu cases and instances of the COVID-19 coronavirus have risen recently.
“COVID numbers are rising and surpassing the Delta surge we experienced in August,” Jennifer Muller, executive director of the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department, reported. “The new guidance provided by the CDC is as follows: For positive persons: isolate for five days from the date symptoms started and as long as the person is fever free for 24 hours and symptoms improved they can return to work or school on day 6 but recommend wearing a well fitted mask for an additional five days.
“Household contacts who are not vaccinated are recommended to stay home and monitor for symptoms for five days and if asymptomatic at day 5, they can return to work/school but recommend wearing a mask for five more days.
“Vaccinated contacts do not need to stay home but should monitor themselves for symptoms for 10 days past exposure and wear a mask if needing to be around immunocompromised persons.”
Mueller reported that the number of COVID-19 cases in December was 255 – up from the big August 2021 figure of 248. However, through Jan. 7 – about one quarter of the way into the month – there were already 146 cases. That is on a pace to more than double the December total.
“Flu numbers are on the rise as well,” Mueller warned. “As with any illness, we ask that persons experiencing fever, vomiting, diarrhea or anything outside the norm for them, please stay home until you are well. Getting tested for flu/COVID is recommended. Testing sites are currently at both walkin clinics and appointments are required.
“Vaccinations for flu and covid are available at the health department and pharmacies. Please call for an appointment if interested.”
While debate has risen over the vaccines’ effectiveness (or “efficacy,” as the medical world calls it), Mueller stresses that being vaccinated puts people in a safer position.
“While vaccinations may not be 100 percent effective for everyone, they are proving to keep people out the hospital,” she said. “So please consider getting vaccinated.”