Flu Hits Hard, Here's What You Can Do
If you haven’t been directly affected by the flu virus wreaking havoc across the state, chances are you have a close family member or friend who has been diagnosed with the virus, so taking the necessary steps to stay healthy and virus-free is of the utmost importance.
“The number one thing to keep from spreading the virus is probably good hand washing procedures and covering your nose,” advised Certified Physical Assistant Gordon Lee of Family Medical Care in Groesbeck. “You see a lot of people run around with the mask on their face. The virus is smarter than the holes in the mask so you may stop the big droplets but the virus is still going through it at that point. If you're starting to show the symptoms of the flu, getting isolated pretty quickly is the best way to solve it. Make sure you get plenty of rest and try to avoid exposure from people you know have it.”
The flu season, which begins the first week of October and runs through the third week in May, is in full force nationwide, but no state is feeling the severity like Texas. According to The Walgreens Flu Index, which is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide, Texas is the top state with flu activity for the week ending January 6, 2018, with 9 of the 10 top designated market areas for flu activity being found in the state.
“What we've seen here since November was a steady increase in the number of positive flu cases. It seemed to peak just a little bit before Christmas,” said Lee. “Probably about two or three weeks after school starts back and the kids are all back together, you’ll see another small bump occur then at that point.”
Because some Groesbeck citizens choose to go to hospitals in Mexia, Fairfield or Waco, the data regarding how many positive cases of the flu there are locally may not be accurately listed entirety, but at Limestone Medical Center, the total cases to date for this season is 87. That number reflects how many were determined through screening.
“I just had a patient a few days ago who has what looks like the flu, but we're not going to screen her for it because the two grandchildren she'd kept over the weekend both tested positive for the flu already,” Lee explained. “We get to the point where if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, especially if you've had a known exposure.”
To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.