Local Medical Officials Monitoring Influenza


By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The flu season may have started a little slow, but it has arrived with a vengeance. So far, seven people in Idaho have died from influenza.

Family physician Trevor Satterfield is keeping busy at work due to a spike in sick patients with flu and flu like symptoms.

"So we've seen more people coming in and complaining of flu like symptoms, cough, sore throat, fever sometimes, body aches, not all of that ends up being the flu, but we've certainly seen more of that as the winter progressed," said Dr. Trevor Satterfield.

The number of flu cases continues to rise across the state including right here in the Magic Valley.

"This flu season was a little bit slow in starting but what we've seen in the last couple of weeks is a huge increase in the number of flus and influenza going around. We've had outbreaks in some of the long term care facilities so we are really encouraging people to go out and make sure that they get their flu vaccinations," said Mary Jensen, Epidemiology Manager at the South Central Health District.

Influenza strikes with a variety of symptoms, but those symptoms often mimic other viruses.

"So classic influenza, it comes on rather quickly. So that first day or two you will notice that you are significantly sick. And with those body aches, cough, sore throat and if that comes on quickly, especially if there is a fever, it's a good idea to be evaluated by a doctor to see if you really have the flu or some other virus," said Dr. Trevor Satterfield.

Experts say the best way to fight the flu is to get vaccinated.

"The vaccine that we have out this year is covering the flu that we are seeing, the H3N2 is in the vaccine and that is mostly what we are seeing here in the State of Idaho. We are seeing a little bit of the influenza B as well,” said Mary Jensen.

The flu vaccine is also available in a nasal mist.

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