Doctors seeing less flu
Published 12:13 am Friday, February 16, 2018
By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
Local doctors are seeing less of the flu, but say that people should not let their guards down just yet.
“I have seen comparatively less of the flu in my office since last week,” Local pediatrician Dr. Bhagwan Bang said. “Flu season typically lasts through March though, so people still need to be prepared.”
Bang said that there has been more of type B than A of the flu but the number of patients being treated for the flu has gone down from 20-30 per day to 10 per day.
“I have noticed that the vaccine effectiveness has been more prominent in type B, but the flu is very unpredictable.” Bang said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is still widespread across the entire nation. Levels of influenza-like-illness across the country are now as high as we observed at
the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. This does not mean that we are having a pandemic, just that levels of influenza-like-illness are as high as what we saw during the peak of H1N1.
“During the pandemic of the H1N1 of 2009 there was a shortage of Tamiflu,” Dr. Bang said. “Thankfully, this year that has not happened.”
Bang said there has been 70 deaths statewide caused by flu illnesses.
“I am glad I have not seen any of the fatal illnesses in my office, but I have seen some hospitalizations from the flu where it has turned into pneumonia,” he said.
Bang said that the most important thing is if you have any flu like symptoms then you need to stay away from any public places.
“People don’t understand the seriousness behind this illness and that is what bothers me,” Bang said. “The flu is a deadly virus because it is so unpredictable.”
The CDC issued these preventive actions to stop the spreading of germs:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.