The recent rains have been a blessing for Texoma, but they are also causing a lot of "Bless Yous". The rise in humidity is allowing spores to fill the air. That has been causing a lot of people with allergies to get stuffed-up, and allowing viral infections to spread.
It's been a busy stretch in the Kell West ER, according to Emergency Director Dr. Joe Mendoza. "The past couple of weeks we've noticed an up-rise in upper respiratory tract type infections. Symptoms with coughs, colds, sore throats and low grade fever," he said.
Much of it is a result of the rains. "With an increased humidity, you have an increase in mold spores will cause allergy type symptoms allergy type symptoms will lead to your immune system being run down," he said. The sneezes and stuffiness allow viruses to spread. "Usually viral infections, respiratory type infections such as the Flu or the common cold are spread by water droplets - by coughing, sneezing, people walking around, coughing on their hands or they cough on their hands and you shake their hands," he said.
One of the bugs going around is the Flu. "We have seen a few cases of flu here at the hospital," said Dr. Mendoza. He follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of recommending everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. "That's really the number one prevention, I can't really over-emphasize the point of getting vaccinated against the flu vaccine," he said.
Beyond that, Mendoza says to cover your cough, wash your hands and avoid people who are sick. "Common sense stuff, the main thing is that if you start having a fever above 100.4, headache, chills generalized muscle aches, body aches fatigue kids will also have some vomiting and diarrhea. Those are symptoms that you need to see your doctor," he said.