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Local Flu Cases Increase - KOAM TV 7

Local Flu Cases Increase

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As the nation deals with the surge of flu cases, some may be wondering what the statistics in our area look like.

Whether inside hospitals, or at schools, people are starting to see more and more cases of the flu like Pittsburg High School student Kevin McNay .

"I've seen about a dozen or so. Whether it's the full on flu I'm not really sure. But I've definitely seen a lot of symptoms. Fever, sneezing, headaches, all this other stuff that's going around says McNay.

In the last week, Freeman Health System confirmed 44 patients with influenza a, also commonly known as the H1N1 strain. They also diagnosed 34 patients with influenza B, which is an increase from last weeks numbers.

"We've had more flu B here, up until recently, we've had more flu B, which is a little bit less in severity, as opposed to flu a, but we're seeing an increase in flu a, so there's no telling what we'll see in the future" says infection control officer Karen Watts.

The influenza virus is not partial to any age. The highest population infected with the flu are those who range from 5 to 14 years old, which is the common school student age, followed by those ages 25 to 49.

"It's a really good idea for parents, to encourage their kids when come home or get off the school bus to do a little hand hygiene before they start their routine activities after school" says Watts.

For those in an office setting, the flu virus can sit on many items you may see on your desk for 24 hours such as telephones, computer mice, and door knobs, all before you may realize it.

"The flu is a sneaky little virus though. You can actually start spreading the virus a day before you show any symptoms. So you might not know that you're sick, but you're still out spreading the flu" says Watts.

Kevin McNay may not be apart of the highest population of flu cases, but he knows the proper way to take care of himself.

"I take vitamins everyday. I try to drink 3 bottles of water every. I try to get a good night sleep and just try and keep myself healthy" says McNay.

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