Clinics see rise in patients
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - With so many different types of sicknesses, it’s hard to tell what symptoms are tied to which virus. But no matter the symptoms, here’s what medical experts said you should do.
“Stay home. They shouldn’t go to school, they shouldn’t go to work, and they shouldn’t go to Walmart. All they’re doing when they do that is spread it around,” Lee Ackley, physician assistant, said.
Ackley has seen a rise in sick patients since October, especially with the flu. For Wichita Falls ISD, there have been 246 students with the flu in the last two weeks compared to last year when that number did not exceed double digits.
Here’s what Ackley believes is behind the increase in cases this year.
“One, it got here two months earlier than we expected it so a lot of people weren’t vaccinated and two, everybody’s been locked up for two years so nobody’s been exposed to anything so everybody is getting it,” Ackley said.
Cold symptoms include a runny nose and scratchy throat. Whereas a fever greater than 100.4 degrees could be COVID or the flu. This year, the flu has been associated with a really bad sore throat, headache and muscle fatigue. COVID has gotten less severe and most patients who have tested positive have experienced shortness of breath and excessive fatigue.
“The majority of patients that I go to see think they’ve just got allergies and then they test positive for the flu or they test positive for COVID or even RSV with the younger kids,” Ackley said.
Though RSV is an illness typically found amongst children, that doesn’t mean adults are in the clear.
“RSV is a childhood illness. Now, if you didn’t get it as a child you can get it as an adult,” Ackley said.
Ackley explained COVID is also to blame for the uptick in RSV this year compared to years prior.
“You know, we get RSV outbreaks every year. The problem is we’ve got a three-year-old that hasn’t been around other kids for the last three years,” Ackley said. “So they didn’t get exposed to RSV, so now they’re getting RSV when they get back to daycare and kindergarten where they would have already had it a long time ago and probably done well with it.”
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