WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With cold and flu season upon us, medical professionals are urging the public not postpone getting vaccinated.
Officials at Asencion Via Christi confirmed its first case of the flu this week. The hospital could not tell us whether or not the case involved a child or adult. Nevertheless, they said the flu strain is here in Wichita and precautions must be taken.
“It’s not at an endemic level yet. So, it’s not super saturated in our community, but as people continue to go out and exchange different bits of bacteria and viruses in our community, we will start seeing more cases,” said Dr. Amy Seery, Ascension Via Christi pediatrician.
Since it is the beginning of the season, doctors don’t know how severe the flu will be this year. Dr. Seery says they can make a prediction based on the flu strains from Australia.
“This was a very serious year for them for the flu, but the vaccine seems to be well adapted to the strains that we know we are going to be exposed to,” she said.
In addition, doctors have been treating several patients with flu-like symptoms. One doctor says when it comes to the flu shot, don’t wait!
“Get it immediately,” said Dr. Seery. “It takes two weeks after the injection for it to be fully effective, and be most productive as possible against different variants of the flu virus.”
Clinics like GraceMed have been seeing a number of people coming in to get free vaccines.
“We’ve had to reorder flu vaccine already several times, and so, we get new shipments in just about every week,” said Dr. Julie Elder, Chief Medical Officer for GraceMed.
Besides the flu shot, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from getting the virus.
“I think it boils down to basics: wash your hands, cover your cough, if you’re sick stay home. Just do anything you can do to prevent that transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Elder.
Pharmacies and doctor’s offices have the flu shot. You can also get it for free from the Sedgwick County Health Department and Grace Med Health Clinic.
- GraceMed Health Clinic, 1122 N. Topeka St.
- Guadalupe Clinic, 2825 S. Hillside St.
- Guadalupe Clinic, 940 S. Saint Francis
- HealthCore Clinic, 2707 E. 21st St. N.
- Hunter Health, 527 N. Grove St.
- Café con Leche, North High School, 1437 N. Rochester St.
For more information on flu immunization in Sedgwick County, go to: sedgwickcounty.org
Residents who qualify may visit the Sedgwick County Health Department’s clinic at 2716 W. Central in Wichita.
Clinic hours are:
- Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
- Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.