Sut­ter County res­i­dent dies Tues­day

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - Front Page - By Jake Ab­bott jab­bott@ap­pealdemo­

A Sut­ter County res­i­dent in their early 60s died due to COVID-19 on Tues­day night, bring­ing the area’s to­tal death count to 18 peo­ple.

Bi-county Health Of­fi­cer Dr. Phuong Luu said the in­di­vid­ual had been in the ICU for weeks and had some un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions.

“Our hearts are with this in­di­vid­ual’s fam­ily, and the fam­i­lies of ev­ery­one who has died from this ter­ri­ble virus,” Luu said.

Still, Luu sees some progress.

Fol­low­ing the state’s lat­est up­date to tier des­ig­na­tions for coun­ties, Luu said she feels op­ti­mistic that the Yuba-sut­ter area is get­ting closer to mov­ing into the next lower, less re­stric­tive tier.

“We see how hard our com­munity has been work­ing to slow the spread while con­tin­u­ing to sup­port their lo­cal busi­nesses and neigh­bors. This is en­cour­ag­ing to see so let’s keep it up,” Luu said. “While we re­main on the pur­ple tier, we are close to mov­ing to red and see­ing more busi­nesses open up. Let’s stay strong and con­tinue to prac­tice those tenets we know to keep from get­ting those around us sick, should we un­know­ingly be in­fected.”

Luu said hav­ing res­i­dents get tested re­mains a key fac­tor in the tier des­ig­na­tion, as even neg­a­tive tests play a role. She en­cour­aged res­i­dents to get tested if they have any symp­toms, even if mild; have been in close con­tact with a con­firmed case; or have en­gaged in riskier be­hav­ior like at­tend­ing a party or bar­be­cue where the tenets weren’t fol­lowed. Test­ing re­sults cur­rently take about 2-3 days to come back and walk-ins are wel­come at either of the area’s Op­tumserve sites.

“This test re­sult not only helps us move into the next tier, but it will give you peace of mind when in­ter­act­ing with your house­hold mem­bers and co­work­ers,” she said. “No one wants to in­ad­ver­tently in­fect some­one else.”

The num­ber of con­firmed COVID-19 cases in­creased by six on Wed­nes­day, bring­ing the area’s to­tal to 2,825 cases.

Six­teen peo­ple were hos­pi­tal­ized as of Wed­nes­day even­ing, while 32 res­i­dents re­cov­ered from the virus.

While the flu sea­son starts in Septem­ber, health of­fi­cials typ­i­cally start see­ing a spike in cases be­tween De­cem­ber and February, said Dr. Homer Rice, direc­tor of Yuba County Public Health.

Sim­i­lar to COVID-19, the flu is con­ta­gious and is in­haled or trans­mit­ted by an in­di­vid­ual’s hands to their nose, mouth or eyes, caus­ing an in­fec­tion in the res­pi­ra­tory

tract (nose, throat and lungs). Symp­toms of the flu, which can range from mild to se­vere, can in­clude fever, cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, chills and di­ar­rhea. It can also cause sec­ondary in­fec­tions like pneu­mo­nia, which can be very se­ri­ous for more vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions.

Rice said the virus can last sev­eral weeks and in­di­vid­u­als typ­i­cally be­come con­ta­gious one day be­fore de­vel­op­ing symp­toms. With fears of a “twin-demic” dur­ing flu sea­son due to the on­go­ing pan­demic, health of­fi­cials say it’s ex­tremely im­por­tant for res­i­dents to get their flu shots this year.

“Sci­ence shows that you can be sick with the sea­sonal flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which cer­tainly could worsen the symp­toms, as most are the same for both viruses,” Rice said. “Es­pe­cially if you have heart or res­pi­ra­tory is­sues, the pos­si­bil­ity of a ‘twindemic’ is very con­cern­ing.”

When ad­min­is­tered, the flu vac­cine stim­u­lates an in­di­vid­ual’s im­mune sys­tem to build up a de­fense against the in­vad­ing virus. Rice said it al­lows the per­son to have “sen­tinels” that will rec­og­nize the flu virus if the per­son is in­fected and mount an im­me­di­ate re­sponse to neu­tral­ize it.

“Your own im­mune sta­tus plays a part in whether you have a re­ally strong re­ac­tion to the virus or a lesser re­sponse,” he said. “That is why some peo­ple still get some symp­toms, but they will be milder than if you did not get the vac­cine.”

Flu shots can be ob­tained at most re­tail phar­ma­cies like CVS, Rite Aid, Wal­greens, Wal­mart, and Tar­get. They are free with most in­surance plans and can range be­tween $20

$45 for peo­ple with­out in­surance.

“It takes about two weeks af­ter you get your shot for the vac­cine to take ef­fect, so it is bet­ter to get the vac­cine early so you are pro­tected,” Rice said.

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