Kansas leads country in flu diagnoses

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MGN Online MGN Online

Wednesday night at New Medical Health Care in Wichita, the doors to the clinic were closed but staff inside were still hard at work. They were sanitizing and scrubbing every surface, because so many people had come in for treatment of flu-like symptoms.

“It’s illness or we can offer you the vaccine,” said Dr. Neal Secrist, a physician at the clinic. “The virus migrates inland and makes its way toward the central states like Kansas, the virus tends to mutate or morph.”

Secrist told each of his patients to get the shot at the beginning of the year, and still advises them to do it. He is concerned this flu season could be the worst flu epidemic in at least a decade. Secrist went on to speculate that the virus has mutated faster than researches anticipated as it moved inland through the United States.

Local hospitals report hundreds of cases this season, already meeting or surpassing the 2017-2018 flu season’s totals.

Kinsa, a company which tracks patients’ vital signs using it’s smart thermometers, showed a 7% increase in cases of flu-like symptoms in Kansas within the last 24 hours.

Secrist insists any precaution will help at this point, and says if you haven’t had the flu shot yet, it’s not too late.

While there have been no fatalities in Kansas yet, parents in North Carolina confirmed yesterday that their child died of the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 30 children have died from the flu.

The CDC doesn’t count adult deaths, but estimates that 8.2% of those for the week ending January 13 were the result of pneumonia and influenza. That’s more than 1% higher than normal.

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