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Flu Season Hits Early in Mississippi

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 05 Dec 2012 04:28pm | comments

Mississippi is one of five states with higher than normal cases of flu.  MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports this year’s season is off  to its earliest start in ten years.   


Doctors offices across Mississippi are seeing an early increase in the number of patients with classic flu like symptoms including fever, aches, chills and tiredness.  But for 17 year old capital city resident, Kadeza Jackson, the symptoms go beyond that.


"Well we're gonna do a flu test on you."


"Like the back of my head has been hurting and my neck stiff, like can’t move my neck. And I feel like I'm stuffed up."


Jackson is being examined by Ridgeland Physician Dr. Timothy Quinn.  Even though Flu season doesn't usually peak until midwinter Quinn says he's already treated more than a half dozen patients this week alone.


"The bottom line is it’s a good idea to be diagnosed early because the flu can be treated but it can only be effectively treated if diagnosed in the early stages and medication started,"


The higher than normal reports of flu have come in from Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi. And even though the cases have been relatively mild, Dr. Michael Jhung with the Centers for Disease Control says the organization remains cautiously optimistic. 


"Because it's starting a little bit early it’s possible that influenza will circulate for a longer period of time and  that may allow opportunities for more people to be infected so it could be more severe from that perspective. Also what we're seeing right now is the H3 virus and that particular strain has been associated with some sever seasons in the past so we are being careful to watch out for that."


Jhung recommends the flu vaccine for anyone 6 months or older and particularly pregnant women and people with chronic conditions. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.





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