LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The CDC reports flu activity is increasing across the United States and right here on the South Plains. On Friday, New Home ISD cancelled school Monday and Tuesday (11/25 and 11/26) due to “the extreme number of absences” to “prevent the spread of illness in students and staff.” This year, the South Plains is seeing the flu earlier in the season.
Dr. Roberta Beals, DO is a Primary Care Physician at Grace Clinic. She specializes in Family Medicine. She said, “We’re having an early expansion of influenza, the flu. We’re starting with influenza B. More commonly we see influenza A. So, we were really surprised a couple of weeks ago when we started seeing a few isolated cases.”
Dr. Beals said if you’re not feeling well, you need to go to the doctor.
“What we like to tell our patients is, if you’re not having any problems with extreme pain, or a fever over 103 degrees, You don’t need to go to the ER,” said Dr. Beals, “If you’re having a fever, you need to be seen by your family doctor. And if your family doctor is not available, you can go to a walk-in clinic.”
“If you really feel exhausted, like you can't get out of bed, and you're just hurting all over, that's a sign that its influenza B or A,” said Dr. Beals.
There are two different Types of Flu. Flu A and Flu B.
“Influenza A tends to be a little bit more severe and its intensity of symptoms. Influenza B is less severe in its symptoms, but has more GI distress within,” said Dr. Beals, “When I say that, I mean nausea, abdominal cramps, not wanting to eat as much and some people even get loose bowels with that one. Both have a sore throat; runny nose and they can have a cough with it. The temperature can be about the same. So other than the GI symptoms, there's not much difference.”
Dr. Beals also says Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is also very contagious and RSV cases are on the rise.
She says there are ways to reduce the spread of germs. She said first, if you’re feeling sick during the holidays, you should isolate yourself from others.
“Wash your hands, cover your mouth, blow your nose with a tissue,” said Dr. Beals, “Try to use as many tissues as you can to block the promotion of the virus through the air because it is highly contagious in any mucous membranes and it's not necessarily your nose or your mouth but on your eyes.”
Dr. Beals said it’s not too late to get your flu shot.
You can find more information on the Flu by clicking here.