After seeing a number of reports about friends suffering with flu or flu-like symptoms, I called my friend Dr Mark Dowell. Dr Dowell is an infectious disease specialist and is always a great resource to either confirm or deny outbreaks of illness in the Casper area and around the state.

Dr Dowell mentioned that H1N1 (Swine Flu) is the #1 strain of influenza in Wyoming today and pretty much nationwide.

We still have a susceptible population and so we are still seeing cases but it's, to me , not any more aggressive than the other strains.

The Wyoming Health Department is asking everyone to watch for the following symptoms: Persistent, extremely severe, hacking cough, high fever of over 100, sinus pressure and shortness of breath, and very severe aches and chills. This will feel like a regular cold or flu magnified many times over. It is important to get in to a health care provider IMMEDIATELY.  Also, as long as you are experiencing symptoms, you are contagious. This is also a very important reason to remember to wash hands, and thoroughly, all the time.

You are also reminded that it is not to late to get a flu shot although it can take 7-10 days for the vaccine to take effect and it's effectiveness is gauged at somewhere between 50-80%.

Hear more from Dr Dowell here.