There are plenty of Nebraskans suffering from winter illness.
Dr. Chelsea Navarrette is an internist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center – Nebraska Medicine and says in the last week alone they have treated many more patients for influenza. Symptoms include a dry, hacking cough, fever, chills, sore throat, severe muscle or body aches and fatigue. She says it is important to seek treatment within the first 48 hours if you suspect influenza.
Dr. Navarrette says, “Typically I like to see patients within the first 48 hours of influenza symptoms and the reason for that is there are anti-viral medications that can help the duration and the severity. If you are older than age 65, or pregnant, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, you are more at risk of getting severely ill and I would want to see you in clinic.”
Also making the rounds is para-influenza that causes a mild respiratory illness similar to a cold. There is a bigger concern if the person has had a stem cell transplant or an organ donation. Those individuals can get very ill if exposed.
Dr. Navarrette says the other illness making the rounds now is the norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea. The good news is that it lasts only a few days and medical treatment typically isn’t necessary. However, she says there have been a few people that have ended up hospitalized for this. She says the biggest issue is dehydration.