Sedgwick Co. flu cases still down from last year, could change as flu season peaks

Local

Pharmacist Janae Welch fills a prescription for the flu. 

“There’s a new medication out this year xofluza which taken within 48 hours of showing, studies have shown to be pretty affective hopefully shortening treatment from Tamiflu by one day,” said Janae Welch, Pharmacist at Dandurand Drugstore. 

It’s medicine to help fight the flu, and it’s many symptoms. 

“If someone gets the flu, they’re going to have a fever over a hundred degrees, sore throat, extreme fatigue like you don’t want to get out of bed, body aches, chills, headache,” said Adrienne Byrne, Director of Division of Health at Sedgwick County Health Department.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks influenza activity and as of late December 2018, Kansas is listed in green meaning minimal influenza activity. That matches the trend hospitals in Wichita are experiencing. 

“This year, we’ve seen a handful of cases but by no means have we reached the numbers that we saw last year,” said Karen Bally, Director of Infection Prevention for Via Christi Hospitals. 

Flu season usually peaks from November to March. Seeing as it’s only January, hospital officials say we are not out of the woods yet. 

“We have not hit the peak yet in Kansas or in the United States so we’ve just begun to see the last week a little bit of an uptick in flu cases,” said Byrne, 

Byrne said the key to winning the battle against the flu is prevention like washing your hands frequently, covering your cough and getting your flu shot. 

“We don’t know yet how good of a match it is, but preliminary we’re hearing that it’s a good match what their seeing are the strains are a good match for the shot,” said Byrne. 
 

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