Holding Off the Flu Bug

Like it or not, flu season is here.

News'13's Bobby Poitevint last week spoke with experts to see if this year’s flu vaccines are killing the bug.

Around the nation, people are feeling the flu.

Reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show late November influenza activity has increased with Type A the leading strain.

Luckily, experts said it hasn't hit Natrona County too hard.

Dr. Andy Dunn from Wyoming Medical Center joined the conversation, "Knock on wood, we haven't seen much of anything; we have seen a couple of cases but so far things look good."

At Community Health, Dr. Karl Radke shared much of the same, “We've only seen a couple of cases so far. They present with the typical symptoms of fever chills cough sore throat muscle aches."

Even Dr. Joel Pull at Mountain View Regional Hospital agreed, "We've seen very little. We haven't actually needed to do any of that much testing so far. It’s a pretty typical pattern I think. I've been seeing about one a week."

Typically the elderly and young kids have higher chances of catching the flu.
However, Dr. Pull hasn't seen any child patients, yet.

The patients he has seen include young adults, who had the Type A strain.

He said young adults who are feeling symptoms may not have received the shot.

"I think that’s very true too because less than half the country gets flu shots and I think young adults make up a very good large proportion of that."

It may sound repetitive but doctors continue to report one of the best flu prevention is to wash your hands.

"Keep washing your hands its old school, but it works and another thing if you're sick take those sick days that’s important. Because if it’s not the flu, it’s more likely some other viral infectious etiology and we can pass viral stuff pretty easy."

Doctors said strains A and B are more common in Wyoming.

The two strains affect 20 percent of the nation’s population with sniffling, aching, coughing, and high fevers as symptoms.

Final thoughts from the doctors, they said it’s still too early to tell if this season’s vaccines are fully effective.

Flu vaccines change yearly in accordance with what doctors predict to be the dominant virus, but the vaccines are around 60 to 80 percent effective in fighting the flu.