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Fit And Well Idaho: Latest Flu Activity In Southern Idaho

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By Brittany Cooper

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The flu is widespread in 35 states, including Idaho. Since October 1st, the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories is reporting that 82% of the clinical samples are testing positive for Influenza Type A. H1N1 is also surfacing in the Magic Valley.

Medical experts claim the flu is in full swing here in southern Idaho.
Each flu season varies, making it difficult to assess the severity and length of season.

CDC data shows Region Ten, which includes the state of Idaho is reporting more positive tests for the flu than anywhere else in the country.

Kyle Hodges, Cassia County School District Nurse explains, "it's important we recognize the value of the flu vaccine because flu vaccines really prevent the flu but they also prevent from exposure to others who are at high risk and won't be as seriously sick."

And as long as the virus is circulating, the CDC recommends you go get the shot.

Dr. Mary Curtis adds, "it's going to take a couple of weeks in somebody who has a normal immune system and may take a little longer depending on the age of the individual, but at this point, because the flu season has hit, we're still recommending even if people have not had the flu vaccine, to get ahead and get it. And even if the flu is here, we still want them to at least get some protection against it."

Just last week a student here at Burley High School tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Once the school found out, they went into deep–cleaning mode, covering everything from the desks to the doorknobs.

Hodges adds, "just heightened our cleaning awareness and what we normally do for school safety for health and hygiene so I think I was notified as the school district nurse, the superintendent was notified when the parent called just to make sure we were doing all the policies and following through with safety."

Each school within the district has thermometers and if a student's temperatures reaches above 99.9, the school sends the child home.

TIPS: Other ways to protect yourself include washing your hands, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated and eating healthy.