Warm winter keeps flu at bay, medical clinics full

HealthDiseases and IllnessesFluPneumonia

Ask pretty much anybody, and you will find they are or know someone who is sick, most with similar symptoms.

Hoosiers have been flooding some local doctor’s offices complaining of a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, fever and severe sinus issues.  Many have been sick for weeks, as the germs spread through offices, schools and just about everywhere.

Some local medical experts said our mild winter is part of the problem.

"This virus, whatever it is, thrives when people are out and about," said Linda Erwin, director of Community Health Network's MedCheck program. 

Erwin said at their six clinics, about 80 percent of what they are seeing is what's called sinusitis. It is easily treated with sprays or over the counter medications, but can be dangerous if it lasts too long.

"Unfortunately, then those sinuses then are going into bronchitis and then into bacterial pneumonia," said Erwin.

She goes on to say if you are coughing up dark phloem, running a fever and have been sick for a week to 10 days, get checked out.

Another health concern for Hoosiers is reactive airway disease. Its symptoms include an inflamed airway, which leads to difficulty taking a deep breath. There is also a chance of getting fluid in your lungs, which can lead to pneumonia. Erwin said if you think you have it see of doctor.

Health experts stress that this is always a busy time of year for illnesses, but usually it is the flu. However, it has been too warm for conditions conducive for that virus to spread.

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