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Flu hits entire area with a vengeance

The flu season has hit much of the country with a vengeance. Johnson County is not alone as the number of flu cases has increased in the past few weeks. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 37 states have reported widespread cases of the flu. Beginning in October, the flu season typically peaks in January and February.
The CDC reports that influenza cases, commonly known as the flu, have been identified as H1N1, influenza A and B. Medical professionals recommend that people protect themselves with a flu vaccine. This year's vaccine will protect against three strains of the flu virus, H3N2, a strain of type A, influenza B and H1N1. The flu vaccine takes approximately two weeks to build up full immunity to the viruses.
According to Cherie Osborne, Director of Nursing at Mountain City Care and Rehabilitation Center, the nursing home had six confirmed cases of the flu. Acting proactively, the nursing home staff sprang into action to keep their residents healthy. “We put everyone on Tamiflu,” said Osborne. One of the halls was quarantined to prevent the flu from spreading further. “This is the first time we have had flu in our building in at least five years,” Osborne added.
Mountain City Medical has been busy with patients who present with flu-like symptoms. According to Michelle Crumley, LPN for Daniel Jones, who is a physician's assistant for the group, they have seen large numbers of patients with flu symptoms. In one week alone, they have had approximately 50 people visit their office with symptoms of fever, body aches, nausea, chills and headaches. “Just about everybody that comes in has had symptoms,” Crumley said.
For a normal healthy person, rest, plenty of fluids and Tylenol is the recommended course of action. For those patients who suffer with asthma or other chronic breathing probably, Mountain City Medical is treating them with TamiFlu, an antiviral medication. Crumley strongly advised, “Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing.” The office also recommends patients sick with the flu to stay at home until their symptoms are gone to prevent the further spread of the flu.