Flu season is in full sneeze

Staff writer

It’s flu season again, and like many heath care providers across America, Marion Family Physicians has been treating a lot of influenza cases.

Kansas is one of 35 states with wide-spread influenza activity according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“The flu comes because of the global circulation of germs,” nurse practitioner Karen Wheeler said. “It starts in the southern hemisphere six months before we get it, and that is how the CDC knows what to put in the flu vaccinations.”

Marion Family Physicians started treating influenza the second week in December and noticed a dramatic increase in documented cases after New Year’s, she said.

Wheeler has been treating every age group. However, those who are young, old, have asthma, or have a history of respiratory illness are more susceptible, she said.

“A lot of people confuse influenza with the stomach flu, but they are two different things,” Wheeler said. “Influenza is a respiratory virus that comes on as a sudden fever with aches. A cough, nasal congestion and drainage along with little bit of nausea are common symptoms.”

Replenishing fluids is key, she said. Some people have been hospitalized, bed ridden with flu symptoms, because they do not get enough fluids.

Other preventative measures are refraining from smoking, washing hands vigorously, and generally staying away from people who are infected.

Home remedies like vitamin C and chicken noodle soup also can help fight off the flu bug. However, Wheeler urges people to stay away from juices with a lot of sugar and soups with a lot of salt.

“If there is any question as to the state of your health, you should see your health care provider,” Wheeler said.

 

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