Newton Medical Center has seen a spike in the number of cases of flu treated — both at the hospital and its clinics. 

Newton Medical Center reports 35 cases of influenza A and 10 cases of influenza B in January, in both cases a doubling from the December numbers.  The hospital reported just one case of influenza in November. At Newton Medical Center clinics, the numbers are a little more stable — 32 cases of influenza A in January compared to 21 in December, and 1 case of influenza B in January compared to two in December. However, the clinics reported just three influenza cases in November. 

According to Infection Control Coordinator, Janie Mosqueda, RN, Newton Med normally does not see a spike until February, but this flu season it started to spike in December.

"Please seek medical attention if influenza is suspected; it is important to start on the antiviral medication to treat influenza," Mosqueda said. "Medication will make the illness less severe and decrease the duration of the illness."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu usually comes on suddenly.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; fatigue; and possibly vomiting and diarrhea.

Mosqueda also encouraged prevention.

"It is important to get the influenza vaccine, limit contact with others while you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, cover your nose and mouth when coughing, and wash your hands often," Mosqueda said.

KDHE has provided free flu vaccine to county health departments this January, including Harvey County, to decrease the spread of influenza this season. Harvey County Health Department administrative fees cost up to $20. The health department can help reduce that fee for those needing the vaccination and will file insurance for those eligible.

The vaccination is available to anyone through the Harvey County Health Department. You do not have to reside in Harvey County.

“It’s important for people caring for young children and those caring for persons with medical conditions to get vaccinated,” said Lynnette Redington, Harvey County Health Department director. “We’re glad to bring this free vaccine to the county. Be sure to tell your friends, so we can be a healthier Harvey County.”

 

Hospital:

-          November – 1 A, 0 B

-          December – 17 A, 3 B

-          January – 35 A, 7 B

-          Total – 53 A, 10 B

 

Clinics:

-          November – 3 A, 0 B

-          December – 31 A, 2 B

-          January – 32 A, 1 B

-          Total – 66 A, 3 B