A 2020 Flu Season Update

(upbeat music) – Welcome back, so it’s the
dreaded cold and flu season. So let’s play offense and not defense when it comes to staying healthy. Dr. Rachel Hailey from
HCA Midwest Health is here with tips on keeping your family healthy. Now we’ve got a lot to talk about today, including some kind of
alarming flu statistics. How is that impacting Kansas City? – This season is crazy. We’re seeing dramatic spikes of the flu on both the Kansas and Missouri sides. – That’s bad news for us.
– It is. You know, our nine urgent
care CareNow clinics have recorded 1200 cases of
the flu since December 1st. – [Belinda] And is that a lot
in comparison to other years? – Well, yeah, we’ve recorded
50% more flu and flu-like illness diagnoses in December of 2019 compared to December of 2018, and this doesn’t include all the people that are going to our 11
ERs throughout the region. The CDC just released
their weekly updated stats and every week they’re climbing so now 15 million people are estimated to have had the flu.
– Oh my gosh. – 150,000 have been hospitalized,
and over 8,000 have died and that includes 54 pediatric deaths. So the key to remember
is this is not benign. It can kill, and even healthy
people can get the flu. – And that’s something to
really take into perspective. And even if it isn’t
that dramatic of a case, like something that’s more symptomatic that we see around here, nobody likes waking up with those aches and that fever and something like that. – Absolutely, and it’s all
about protecting other people, not just ourselves, healthy
people can usually do well, but it’s the people of
extreme ages, our young ones our older ones or pregnant women, so those are also the
people we want to protect. – Okay, now big question
here, I got my flu shot, but maybe for someone
who has not gotten it, is it too late to get it,
and how can we go about that? – Absolutely not, you
know, getting the flu shot for everyone in the
family can greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu and lessen the impact
if you do get the flu. We recommend that children
six months of age and older and those–
– Even the little ones. – Even the little ones, even those in high-risk medical
groups including those over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with chronic medical
diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, asthma and
diabetes get the flu shot. – Okay, and what are some of the symptoms we should look for,
then bridging onto that, if we’re seeing kind of
advanced signs of this, when should we call the
doctor or go to the ER? – Great question, one of
biggest things I hear over and over, it feels like they’ve
been hit by a mack truck. It’s extreme fatigue.
– No one likes that. – And body aches, you
can also have the cough, the congestion, the runny nose, headache, sore throat, the body
aches, chills and fatigue. – Okay, on prevention,
we’ve already talked about the flu shot, of
course, a very important one and we encourage people to do that, but what are some other
prevention methods we could take? – I can’t talk about this
or emphasize it enough. Sanitize everything, your
hands, door knobs, cell phones, other computer devices,
the grocery cart handrails, any place where the flu virus
or other respiratory viruses can survive up to three days. – Three days, we’d better
have those wipes ready. – Wipe everything, and common sense. Cover your cough with
your arm or your sleeve, whether you’re at home or in public. Teach your kids to wash their
hands, you wash your hands, and stay home, keep your kids
at home, don’t go to work, don’t expose others because
this is rapidly spreading. – Right, I hear you there. Now what do we need to know
about the deadly coronavirus, because we just saw this on the news after the Grammys last
night here on KCTV5. what do we need to know? – So we are monitoring this every hour with HCA Health Midwest. And especially with the fifth case of this deadly novel coronavirus being identified in the US already. We know that the numbers
are rising in China where it’s originated. 2,700 people have been infected. Their death toll has risen to 80. We are still learning a
lot about this coronavirus. The coronavirus is actually
a family of many viruses. – Oh, that is not what we want to hear. – Well, and some are as
mild as the common cold, but some are as severe
as the SARS outbreak that happened in 2003. So we’re watching, we’re learning. Symptoms can vary, some people can have as little or no symptoms. You can have the common cold symptoms with a runny nose, headaches, sore throat, but the key features we’re looking for are shortness of breath, fever and cough. Again there’s no vaccine available. It’s supportive care, and really it’s common sense right now. The flu is more prevalent
right now in the US. But the same precautions
are what we’re using to prevent spread. If you’re traveling for the Super Bowl, just be aware, look
for signs and symptoms, and wash your hands,
use the hand sanitizer. – Keep the sanitizing wipes.
– Everywhere, yes. – Dr. Rachel Hailey, thank you
so much for all those tips. And for more information, you can actually head over to hcamidwest.com.

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