Kansas' first influenza case of the season was confirmed by the state's Department of Health and Environment on Monday.
"The arrival of our first confirmed influenza case of the season serves as an important reminder for everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community," Dr. Robert Moser, Kansas' state health officer, said. "Influenza is a preventable illness. Normally, the number of cases increases during the holidays before peaking around February."
The case was identified in Northeast Kansas.
Health professionals encourage the Kansas public to receive their vaccinations immediately. Anyone older than 6 months old is eligible for immunization.
Especially vulnerable individuals include infants and the elderly. Individuals with other health complications are also more susceptible to influenza. Caretakers also are encouraged to be vaccinated.
Practical personal hygiene also helps protect against influenza contraction.
“Getting an influenza vaccination helps protect you and those around you from becoming ill,” Dr. Jeff Colyer, Kansas lieutenant governor, said. “Vaccination also helps to minimize the number of people going to the hospital with flu-like symptoms.”
Influenza symptoms include fever, dry cough, extreme exhaustion and muscle aches. Influenza may lead to pneumonia, dehydration, and ear and sinus infections.