Influenza making its presence known in southwest Nebraska
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
January is historically the hardest-hit month for an outbreak of influenza, and this January is no exception.
At Chase County Community Hospital (CCCH), Infection Control Nurse Angella Herbert said 18 cases of influenza type A have been lab confirmed, from the beginning of December to now.
Herbert said the A strain is “the only strain we’re seeing so far.”
She added that there have been no RSV reports at this point. Respiratory Syncytial Virus attacks the lungs and breathing passages and is a major cause of respiratory illness in children.
Chase County Schools Nurse Angie Paisley said that as of Monday there were 10 positive influenza cases in grades K-12. She added that there is also still gastrointestinal illness reported by students.
The McCook Community Hospital has put a temporary visitor restriction in place due to the increased outbreak of influenza in the area, according to Community Hospital Infection Prevention Nurse Sharon Conroy.
Staff at that hospital is asking that people do not visit patients if they have a fever of more than 100 degrees and have a cough and/or a sore throat.
Those who have been sick should not visit the hospital until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication.
Children under 12 will not be allowed to visit patients during this time.
There is no visitor restriction at this time at CCCH.
Paisley said children shouldn’t be sent to school after being sick until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using a fever reducing medication.
Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting, as well.
It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. The Chase County Clinic still has vaccinations available. People may call 308-882-7299 for an appointment.