It’s been a quiet influenza season so far, in more ways than one. Cindy Woldt-Schmidt is a Greenwood-based Family Nurse Practioner. “We have not seen anything yet this year in this area, and I haven’t heard that they’ve found anything in other areas of the state yet,” said Woldt-Schmidt. The flu season can run from December through March. The illness can be deadly, especially to the very old, very young and those with preexisting conditions. “What people have is a fever, and a fairly high fever, anywhere from 100 to 102, bodyaches to the point where it just hurts to even touch their hair or anything like, headaches, a pretty severe cough and fatigue to the point of exhaustion,” said Woldt-Schmidt in describing the symptoms.
Last year at this time, everyone was petrified about the spread of H1N1. Woldt-Schmidt worries that this calm after the storm could have people a bit off-guard. “I think because we haven’t had much publicity at all, there’s been very little news at all about the flu season in general, so people haven’t been in to get their flu shots as heavily as they were the previous year.”
The good news is there’s still time and plenty of vaccines available. You should call your local health care provider to schedule a vaccination, especially if you’re in those “at risk” groups. Woldt-Schmidt said the vaccinations are usually covered by insurance and the protection kicks in about three weeks after the treatment.