Respiratory illnesses spreading before Thanksgiving, uptick expected post-holiday
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -Doctors in Wichita are continuing to see an influx in respiratory illnesses and said another uptick after Thanksgiving is likely.
Dr. Jody Elson said cases of RSV, influenza, and strep throat are most common right now. She is a family physician and volunteer at Guadalupe Clinic.
“It's hard this time of year with stress and travel to make sure you get enough rest, and you know, hydration and just trying to take care of yourself in general,” Elson said.
Guadalupe Clinic provides healthcare to people in need. It just hired enough staff to accept same-day visits for people with these types of illnesses.
“That is a tremendous benefit for the clinic and a great service to the community because it keeps our patients out of the emergency room,” Elson said. “There’s no reason to go to the ER for the vast majority of people just for a fever.”
As people travel and get together, Elson said there is usually an uptick in illnesses after holidays, like Thanksgiving. To help avoid getting sick, Elson said it is important to cover your mouth if you need to cough and wash your hands.
“Being so much into the pandemic at this point, I just make sure I'm getting my boosters and trying to social distance when I can, but since it's just family usually I'm not super concerned,” Trinity Wedel, who just got sick, said.
Guadalupe Clinic is seeing some COVID-19-positive patients as well. However, Elson said the lower numbers could be the reason why so many different sicknesses are going around.
“This time of year it's just the season that happens, and so the fact that it has been less in the previous years when COVID was more at its peak, it's not too surprising that now there's this, you know, resurgence of it,” she said.
In most cases, Elson said these respiratory illnesses can be treated with over-the-counter medication and won’t require a visit to the doctor’s office. If your symptoms are only getting worse or last longer than a week, she recommends reaching out to your physician.