Riverton flu cases appear to be increasing; Is it a cold or the flu? Check the symptoms

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Across the state, flu cases are up this year compared to last. The first numbers from Riverton Memorial Hospital indicate the hospital has seen 44 confirmed influenza cases through Jan. 14. All of the cases were reported in December and January.

RMH Assistant Administrator Kati Anderson said due to changes in staff over the last year, which resulted in reporting changes, it is impossible to compare last year’s case numbers to this year’s. “Our infection control nurse feels like there are more cases this year, but there’s no way to know for sure,” she said in an e-mail.

Cases in Lander are on the rise. See the latest information here.

Fremont County Public Health reports that many people confuse the  symptoms between colds and influenza, commonly called the flu.

If it’s a cold:                                    If it’s the flu

• Low or no fever                           • High fever

• Sore throat                                   • Sore Throat

• Sneezing                                       • Sometimes sneezing

• Mild Cough                                  • Dry cough, severe at times

• Sometimes muscle aches         • Muscle aches

• Sometimes a headache            • Usually a headache

• Runny or stuffy nose                 • Runny or stuffy nose

• No stomach problems              • Sometimes nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

• Mild Tiredness                           • Extreme tiredness

What you can do if you are a family member catches or cold or the flu? Fremont County Public Health recommends these steps:

First, stay home and rest; Drink plenty of fluids; Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore or scratchy throat; Try medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce muscle aches, fever and headaches, but NEVER give aspirin to children or teens who have a fever or other flu-like symptoms; Try over-the-counter cough suppressants or decongestants. They won’t cure a cold, but may help relieve symptoms; Antivirals are prescription drugs that can treat the flu if they are given at the start of the illness. Ask your health care provider if they are right for you; Cold and flu symptoms should get better with a few days of home care; If symptoms worsen or breathing becomes difficult, call your health care provider.