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February 09, 2018 10:03 PM

An Update On The 2017/2018 Flu Season

If you're like many Americans, this year's flu season has affected you in some way or another.

The latest numbers released Friday from the South Dakota Department of Health show two more people have died, bringing the number of flu-related deaths to 17. 509 new cases of the flu have also been confirmed in the state, bringing the season total to 2,519. 

Nurse and clinic manager Annie Kruse works at both QuickHealth Urgent Care locations in Sioux Falls. She says for their two locations, this flu season has been heavier than normal.

"Compared to last year, this one is higher volumes and more positive patients," Kruse said.

If you're one of the healthy people, she says, take care of your hands.

"If you go out shopping or anywhere, wash your hands, be careful of what you touch, use the hand sanitizer," Kruse said. "Probably one of the worst places to be is, honestly, in a doctor's office, with other sick people." 

So what is a clear sign to go to a clinic?

"That's really hard to say," Kruse said. "If you have a significantly high fever, that's probably a warning sign you would have to go in." 

But, as she said, a doctor's office isn't a great location.

"You really have to weigh, it's like, okay, that's probably one of the worst places to be because everybody has it, but then you hit a point to where the at-home treatments, the supportive care isn't working, and you may need intervention," Kruse said.

You're stuck between a rock and, well, a sick place.

"You want to feel better, but, it's one of these that, sometimes there's no magic pill. And with this there is no magic pill," Kruse said.

A flu shot certainly isn't a magic fix.

"The last numbers I heard were 10 to 13 percent effective," Kruse said.

She says you must let the virus "run its course."

"Slowing down, I would say, is the biggest thing," Kruse said. "You have to slow down and take care of yourself." 

She also says that it is not too late to receive a flu shot. She mentions, too, that the peak of the season isn't even here yet.

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