We might expect the flu season to be winding down.
But it isn’t.
The CDC says the number of cases is still above the norm, and so is the number of deaths due to the flu.
In the Ohio Valley, it’s also still going strong.
Wheeling Health Right is still seeing lots of flu patients.
One man in the waiting room said he had the flu once, then got pneumonia, then got the flu again.
This season’s flu is tough and especially contagious.
“This virus is very agile and mobile and it’s airborne,” noted Amanda Cummins, physician assistant and clinical coordinator of Health Right in Wheeling.
She says the patients they’re seeing are feeling pretty rough.
“Most people are complaining of body aches, fatigue and fever,” said Cummins. “Chills are often accompanying the fever. There’s a lot of sinus congestion and sinus complaints. A cough that seems to be nagging and hanging on.”
Some sufferers are still out there, going about their chores and even going to work.
Cummins says don’t do it.
“When we have sick symptoms and we are in public places, even the grocery store, even at the pharmacy picking up a prescription, anything that you touch as a sick person, you’re contaminating that surface,” explained Cummins. “So really we are advocating for patients to stay at home for 24 hours after the fever stops.”
But what if you just have a cold and no fever?
She says, at the very least, you should practice good hygiene.
“We want you to cover your mouth, cover your nose with a tissue and then dispose of that tissue,” she said. “If you don’t have access to water–which is really the best way to wash hands, soap and water, vigorously rubbing the hands–then alcohol based hand sanitizer would be appropriate too.”
And if possible, she says, limit your contact with the public.
She says they swab and test each patient, and treat them with Tamifllu.
They say they have not hospitalized anyone yet, just sent them home with medications.