Ole Miss physician says cases of flu on the rise
By Sarah Vissing, sophomore journalism major,
Meek School of Journalism and New Media
It’s flu season and the Ole Miss Student Health Services says it’s already seeing an increase in cases. Doctor Travis Yates recommends getting a flu shot, but says there is an alternative.
“The shot is about 80 percent effective in preventing the flu, but there is also a flu mist that is a live virus so it has a higher risk of giving you the flu,” Yates said.
Yates said that the week of Nov. 12, he diagnosed about 34 cases and two more the week of Nov. 19; he believes that the numbers may still increase.
Briley Bell, a student at the university, had the flu recently.
“I could not get out of bed. I was miserable with a 100-degree fever, a cough and sore throat. I was also nauseous and fatigued. I missed three days of class and could only lay in bed,” Bell said.
Bell did not receive the flu vaccine this year, but says that she will next year to prevent getting sick.
Kim Van Every, a nurse practitioner at the Allcare Mississippi clinic in Oxford, says that the flu season has been mild so far.
“I think it has been really low due to the fact that people are getting their flu vaccines earlier to be more preventive,” Van Every said.
Van Every said that the flu vaccine does not always work, but when patients get the flu after being vaccinated, their symptoms are usually fewer and more mild.
Both Dr. Yates and Van Every suggest that ibuprofen, fluids and rest are the best ways to treat flu symptoms. They also prescribe a medication called Tamiflu at times.
If you are having flu or cold symptoms ,you need to be checked out by a health care expert. They will run certain tests that may include swabbing your nose to see if you have the flu, and they may take a blood sample to count your white blood cells.
Yates thinks the flu will be going around until early spring.
“It usually starts around October and November, as we are seeing this particular season, and we hope that it will be gone by early spring.”
It is never to late to receive a flu vaccine or mist. They are available at the health center, many health care offices and many pharmacies.
To check the latest flu activity in your area, visit the Mississippi State Department of Health Web Site.
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