Flu cases on rise in Panola County

Published 3:47 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

By Myra Bean

Though the world wishes it would go away, the flu season has come around again.

A check Tuesday found a local clinic doctor has the flu, but the schools have not seen any effects on the daily attendance in the South Panola District or at North Delta School.

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Local Davis Family Pharmacy has filled prescriptions this week for Tamiflu, according to pharmacist Dianne Cummins. This year there are generic brands available.

She also said a new medicine is out this year but no generics are available for it.

The Mississippi State Department of Health released flu numbers during the last week of December 2018. They had increased since September but were lower (12.2 percent) than this time in December 2017.

Out of 11,879 patients the last week in December, 656 tested positive for flu around the state.

Cummins said the most important way to ward off the spread of the flu is to watch hands a lot, after you sneeze, after you touch a doorknob and after you hug or touch someone else.

“The alcohol products are okay but nothing beats soap and water,” Cummins said.

Batesville Clinic reported they say lots of cases of flu two weeks ago but not as many this week.

Flu symptoms include:

•High fevers, 102º to 104º

•Strong headaches

•Aches and pains, sometimes severe

•Fatigue up to three weeks

•Extreme exhaustion, begins early and remains

•Sometimes stuff nose, sneezing, sore throat

•Chest discomfort and coughing can be severe

Complications are bronchitis, pneumonia and can be life threatening.

Preventive measures include annual vaccination or antiviral medicines. Treatment is by antiviral medicines in which you should see a doctor.

On the MDH website site agrees, but also highly encouraged people six months and older to get flu and pneumonia shots, especially people over 50.

•Everyone six months and older should get a flu shot. Flu shots are especially recommended for:

•Children ages 6 months to four years, especially those under two years old

•Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season

•Residents of nursing homes or others in long-term care facilities

•Caregivers and household contacts of children less than six months old.

•Anyone with a compromised immune system due to HIV disease or medications such as chemotherapy

•Children and adults with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or other health disorders

•Healthy adults and children who live with or care for children under 5 years old or adults over 50 years old; or care for anyone with a medical condition that could put them at higher risk for flu complications

•Healthcare workers involved in direct patient care

•Adolescents and children over 6 months of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy

•Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than 6 months, or adults over 50

•Healthy adults and children who live with or care for anyone with a medical condition that could put them at higher risk for flu complications.

Cummins said the full blown season is not here yet but it is getting there. If the weather would stay sunny and mild, and people stay outside, Cummins said that would help the virus dissipate.

Rain is forecast to return Friday and Saturday and be cloudy Sunday and Monday before the sun returns for only one day Tuesday. Then the cloudy day returns Wednesday and rains return Thursday.

It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to start offering protection.