There is definitely something going around
By Dale Hogg 530News –
There’s a scene in the immortal 1975 comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where villagers toss deceased plague victims onto a cart. Hilarious, right?
Anyway, one gentleman wants to throw a guy on the heap, but the chap is still among the living.
“But, I’m not dead,” he laments.
“He’s quite ill. He’ll be stone dead in a moment,” the gentleman says.
After some bickering, the poor bloke is bonked in the head and hauled away.
Well, lately, that poor bloke could be me. For the past few days I’ve felt like death warmed over.
But, here’s the thing. I am not alone.
Among the members of my family, colleagues at work or, heck, just about anyone, if they are not hacking up a lung, they are spraying everything with disinfectant. I’ve had to come to work because our newsroom resembles London during the Black Death.
I was barred from attending a department head meeting and there have been threats to install a quarantine tent around my office. Next, I will be asked to wear one of those funky orange hazmat suits with a mask and respirator.
We are at the height of the annual influenza season and the number of cases typically peaks in January and February. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported outbreaks of flu in long-term care facilities, schools and day cares, at least five so far.
Now, not everyone who is sick around here has the flu, technically. But that seems like a insignificant technicality when you feel like you’ve been hit by a train.
In all seriousness, the illnesses going around now are nothing to sneeze at (sorry about that, I couldn’t help myself).
Depending on the severity of the flu season, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population may get the disease each year. During the peak of the 2015-2016 influenza season in Kansas, approximately three percent of all health care visits in clinics were due to flu-like symptoms.
Indeed, local hospitals have seen a sharp increase in patient visits and I’ve had coworkers wind up in the emergency room and were admitted. Although not confirmed by the KDHE lab, Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider said there have been reported flu cases locally.
So, for the love of Pete, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze, wash your hands and, don’t be like me, stay home when you are sick.
And, remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Schneider said it is never too late to get your flu shot, if not for yourself, for those around you.
Excuse me now, I have to go blow my nose and find the Lysol.
Dale Hogg is the managing editor at the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.