Archive for Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Doctors report several flu cases

February 9, 2005

Tonganoxie physicians are reporting a rise in the number of their patients complaining of respiratory problems.

And they believe they've even seen a few cases of influenza.

¢ A flu and pneumonia shot clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Community National Bank, 158th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40 in Basehor.

"We're getting a lot of colds, lots of runny noses, cough, sore throats, fevers and chills," said Dr. Bill Weatherford of Family Medicine of Tonganoxie. "We've had a few which I think are the respiratory flu.

Flu symptoms are more extreme than symptoms of an ordinary cold and include temperatures of 102 degrees or higher, chills, cough, overall aches, shaking and respiratory distress, Weatherford said.

Dr. Phil Stevens has seen it all this winter, including at least eight clinical influenza cases. And a high number of people suffering from pneumonia.

"I'm not sure why that is," he said. "They're all ambulatory. They're all walking."

Stevens said his sick patients also have been suffering from tonsillitis, sinus infections, bronchitis and other respiratory-based infections. And no one age group has been hit harder than another, he said.

"From 3 years old to the elderly," he said.

At Dr. Deborah Gammill's office, nurse Kelly Gill said patients generally have been children and young- to middle-age adults, complaining of sore throats and bronchitis.

"No actual flu, no, not yet anyway," Gill said. "We might have had a couple of cases."

Illness isn't taking much of a toll at Tonganoxie schools, according to school officials.

Providence Medical Center's emergency room is reporting a few cases of flu beginning to walk through their doors, according to nurse Bernie Rogers, director of emergency services.

Rogers advocates flu shots, even though it's late in the typical flu season.

"I would still encourage people to do it," she said.

Although the Leavenworth County Health Department has no flu shots, an influenza and pneumonia vaccine clinic is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Community National Bank in Basehor.

In addition to flu shots, area residents can take other precautionary measures to help ensure they don't catch a bug this winter.

"Wash your hands, and wash them again," advises Weatherford. "You want to be careful what you touch and washing your hands is really the easiest thing you can do."

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