Flu Season Starts In Wichita

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

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The biggest weapon against the flu could be losing some of it's firepower. Wichita is now fighting the flu, with the first cases of the year popping up in local doctor's offices.

The drug Tamiflu gained notoriety as a possible cure for a feared bird flu pandemic, but it's also used every year to treat the run of the mill flu that causes so much misery. This year's strain of influenza appears to be resistant to Tamiflu.

According to reports, 11% of patient swabs from Wichita sent to the Centers for Disease Control last year showed a Tamiflu resistant strain. So far this season 99% do. Scientists and health officials are baffled as to why.

Meanwhile, it appears the flu outbreak has begun locally. A Via Christi Saint Francis patient tested positive for the virus last week. Doctors say they expect to see several more cases crop up over the next couple of weeks.

Looking on the bright side, this year's flu season is expected to be below average. That's because last year's was above average and it's not typical to have two bad years in a row.

For those who haven't gotten a flu shot, time is running out. It takes about two weeks to take effect so those who don't get one within the next few days likely won't be protected.

And, of course, now is the time to take other preventative measures like covering up those sniffles and sneezes and washing your hands frequently.

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