Signs of the Flu Season in the Permian Basin - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Signs of the Flu Season in the Permian Basin

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Officials with Midland Memorial Hospital said they've had 23 confirmed cases of the flu in the ER, and that's just in the last seven days. However, it's not just residents of the Tall City that are catching the flu. Nurses with Medical Center Hospital said last week, their numbers doubled. And that means the flu season is in full swing.

"We appear to be following the national trend in a late onset of flu season. However, we're starting to see a rise in cases coming into the hospital through the emergency room, and a few being admitted," said Rebecca Johnson, the Infection Control Coordinator at Medical Center Hospital.

Doctors and Nurses at both Medical Center Hospital and Midland Memorial admit every year the flu season can be unpredictable.

"This year we've had very good weather, warm temperatures, so the flu is being late in the presentation," explained Dr. Edgar Valle, with Midland Memorial Hospital.

But that's not the only sickness they are seeing this time of the year.

"Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV, other types of bronchitis, see a lot of pneumonias, and the flu is one more of those respiratory illnesses," said Valle.

And many people with intense flu-like symptoms are showing up at the hospital.

"People often complain of aching in the bones, so they feel really bad so fast, they come looking for help, or perhaps alarmed or something like this," said Johnson.

If you do end up with a bad case of the flu, there are medicines that will help, but doctors add it's best to avoid getting it in the first place.

"What we always recommend is that they start treatment very quickly if they start developing the symptoms," said Valle.

In addition, he said if you haven't got your flu shot this season, then you are a little late.

However, they said some people will benefit if you go get one now. For advice on how you can keep from getting the flu, or how to take care of yourself if you do, just go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu

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