Cases of the flu already present in Miss-Lou

Published 12:02 am Monday, September 21, 2015

Natchez — As fall approaches, so does flu season..

Licensed Practical Nurse at Natchez Pediatric Clinic Jana Smith said flu season usually starts around October, but she has already seen a few cases of the flu. Nurse Practitioner for Natchez After Hours Clinic, Natchez Urgent Care and Internal Medicine Associates José Serio has also seen some cases.

“It’s definitely a recommendation that we try to get everybody to vaccinate, because there are other illnesses that can come after the flu,” Serio said.

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If an asthmatic patient gets the flu, Serio said, it can cause the patient’s asthma to flare. Other complications may include ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and pneumonia, he said.

In rare cases, the flu can even cause death.

Serio said the most common symptoms of the flu are fever, aches, chills, coughs, a sore throat, headaches, fatigue and a runny nose.

Some people may not get a fever though.

“Everyone’s different,” Serio said.

The flu, Serio said, is mainly spread by droplets made airborne through coughing and sneezing.

Smith said the flu can be especially bad for children.

“Children’s immune systems haven’t been exposed to certain things yet and flu might be one of them,” Smith said.

Children are not the only ones who should get vaccinated though, Smith said. Parents should also get vaccinated.

“If they get vaccinated, the chances are they won’t catch the flu, so therefore they won’t pass it to their child,” Smith said.

Serio said the elderly are also at risk because of their lower immune systems.

The vaccine is not always effective, Smith said, as the Center for Disease Control develops the vaccine by picking the strands they believe will be most prominent.

“It may not cover every strand of the flu,” Smith said.

Some patients may believe they get the flu from the vaccine, but Smith said that happens when they were exposed to the flu before receiving the vaccine.

“It wasn’t from the vaccine,” Smith said.

Smith recommends people get vaccinated around the time the season begins, and Serio said now would be a good time.