Have a queazy feeling this holiday season?

You’re not alone; county is suffering an outbreak of intestinal distress

Staff writer

Kansas Department of Health public information officer Barbara Hersh said there have not been more cases of influenza or stomach flu reported in Kansas this year. She said the Center for Disease Control has not reported an increase either.

Those figures do not matter much to the people have come down with the flu this holiday season. Lincolnville day-care provider Barb Kaiser was sick for two days with the chills and fever of influenza before suffering the intestinal trials symptomatic of viral gastroenteritis on Thursday. She has decided to close up her home day-care operation until after the New Year Holiday. She was unable to keep down even the soothing elixir of chicken noodle soup on Thursday.

“The fever and chills were nasty,” Kaiser said. “I haven’t had anything this bad in a long time.”

Children are often accused of being the carriers of flu. Marion Elementary School kindergarten teacher Katie Rahe said she had five of her 15 students out sick on Dec. 21. Children complaining of fevers were prevalent.

However, Kaiser said she picked up the flu from her pregnant daughter she was trying to take care of over the Christmas holiday.

Marion pharmacist Marlin Buchholz is also in the line of fire with sick people requesting medicine for their ailments. He also suffered a bout with the stomach flu; he does not wish the disease on anyone.

“I thought I had food poisoning,” he said. “I’m hopeful not many people get what I got.”

Buchholz has some imperial evidence to prove that many people have come down with the flu. He has been ordering 15 cases of Tamiflu a day; he said the number of scripts for Tamiflu has steadily increased. When he checked earlier on Thursday, his wholesale provider of Tamiflu was out of the drug. He was planning to acquire some more Tamiflu from St. Luke Hospital because it uses a different wholesaler.

Despite this data, Buchholz was not sure if this sick season is any worse than last year. He and Hersh said awareness of the disease might be up. Buchholz said about 100 people received flu shots this year, up from about 60 last year.

It may just be the time of year for flu, with travelers and holiday visitors passing around the viruses. Those who have not had either flu, like MES teachers Dani Lange or Rahe, are crossing their fingers hoping to make it through this recent outbreak.

 

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