Flu Attacks Schools, Community

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

The flu continued to affect Meridian Public Schools Thursday. Sixty students were out at Witherspoon Elementary. Northwest Junior High reported 110 students absent with the flu. Kate Griffin Junior High had 100 students out and Meridian High had 25. That's nearly three hundred students absent Thursday, up from a little more than 200 Wednesday.

Physicians report the flu is spreading beyond the schools and both adults and children are flooding emergency rooms and doctor's offices.

"Many people in this emergency room have been waiting for hours," said Dr. Kim McDonald of Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. "Actually since mid-week last week, we've seen a hundred patients a day with the flu."

McDonald says some flu symptoms include body aches, high fever and cough. Unfortunately, he says there's no cure.

"The flu is a virus that is caused by the influenza virus which does not respond to antibiotics," McDonald said. "The mainstay of any viral type of treatment is bed rest, fluids."

Dr. McDonald said there's a new drug that may be effective in treating those symptoms.

"There is a new viral type drug out now called Tamiflu that's effective, if it's started real earlier within the first 24 hours of the first onset of symptoms," he said.

Dr. McDonald says this flu season, there's a new strain of the virus that a flu shot may not counteract. In other words, the flu shot you received this year, possibly won't work. He said the best way to avoid the flu is to wash your hands frequently to avoid picking up germs.

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