Most have probably noticed that it’s flu season and according to Stephenville physician Dr. Kelly Doggett, it’s a busy one.
“I do not have specific numbers but I can tell you that this has been the busiest flu season that I can remember in a long while,” Doggett said. “We are having extremely heavy volume at Affordacare. We are staffing two providers at peak times in an effort to decrease patient wait times.”
Doggett added that the Abilene and Big Spring clinics have also had a large number of flu patients.
“The flu test is not 100 percent accurate, but we are having a very high percentage of positive tests,” he said. “We are seeing widespread flu throughout the community and Tarleton.”
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and even vomiting and/or diarrhea in some cases (mostly in children).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new information regarding the 2016-17 influenza season. These are some new things:
Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season. Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. There will be some new vaccines on the market this season. The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed. A generic version of the flu antiviral drug oseltamivir has become available as a pill. “The number one thing that people can do to prevent the spread of the flu is to stay home when they are sick and not go to work or school,” Doggett said. “Going to work or school with the flu unnecessarily exposes classmates and co-workers.”
Stephenville ISD Superintendent Matt Underwood said the district’s attendance percentages speak for themselves.
“There’s a severe amount of illness going through the district and it’s not just the kids, it’s the staff too,” Underwood said.
Darby West, SISD’s Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) coordinator, pulled up the district’s average attendance numbers for a comparison.
Before Christmas break on Dec. 13 the district’s attendance average was 96.34 percent.
“We were right around 95 percent average attendance around Jan. 24 before all of this hit and then on Jan. 30 we went down to 91-92 percent and we have stayed there until today (Tuesday),” West said. “Today we’re back up to 94 percent. Generally our percent attendance is around 95-96 percent.”