Nurse Practitioner Maggie Taylor with Crossroads Family Medicine said in the past two weeks, their clinic has had a steady stream of elementary kids each day with flu symptoms.
“It has been busy and very sickly,” Taylor said of this year’s flu season. “Our season started last Monday with rampart cases. We’ve seen between 10-12 elementary kids a day since then between Dr. Dewayne Gammel and myself. It first started with elementary type grades, and now it’s moving more into junior high and high school kids.”
She said this year, the flu symptoms can mimic sinus symptoms and be brushed off as merely having a sinus infection.
“We’re seeing a lot of stuffy noses and sore throats. In the ones I’ve seen, I’ve seen some with no fever, low grade and high fever. I’ve noticed that those who have taken the flu shot this year, we’re seeing mild symptoms and those who haven’t we’re seeing high fevers in the 102 and 103 range,” she said. “It could easily be confused with sinus infection. If you’re having sinus-like symptoms, we recommend you come in and get checked.”
Taylor said they’re mostly Influenza Type A in these few weeks, but they’ve also seen Influenza Type B. “They’re different strains of the flu but the symptoms present themselves in the same way. But, we’ve seen more of Type A in the community since the spread of flu.”
She said after the flu, there will be a persistent cough that will linger. “It’ll likely linger about 1-3 weeks. You should look for wheezing and fever persisting beyond the flu. You could also have secondary infections,” she said adding that secondary infections could lead to pneumonia.
“If you’re having other symptoms, you may need to get rechecked,” she said.
Taylor said to prevent flu, families should take these steps:
“Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible. If not, then use hand sanitizer. Take a multivitamin or Vitamin C daily, and try not to go out…in public unless it’s absolutely needed,” Taylor said adding, it’s best to steer clear of public places were the flu can be contracted.
Taylor said if you have the flu, stay home. “Wash hands as often as you can and try to limit exposure to other people. Watch for any secondary symptoms and if you’re still having symptoms get checked out. If you’re sick, running fever, stay out from school and work, try not to spread the flu as much as you can.”