NWA doctors seeing an increase in flu and stomach virus

KNWA

You're going to need to keep the hand sanitizer close these days.

CENTERTON, Ark. (KNWA) — “There’s always little viruses, colds here and there,” Dr. Randy Conover said. “But this past couple of weeks, it’s just really increased.”

Dr. Conover says in the past two weeks – he’s treated triple the amount of patients than he has in the past month. He says several have been sick with the flu, both type A and B.

“I called the hospital and some other places and they’re starting to see the uptick of it,” Dr. Conover said. “It hasn’t hit full-blown yet but we’re starting to see it.”

He says viruses like the flu, common cold and stomach bugs are common this time of year but it’s starting to peak sooner than usual. “It’s usually winter – sometimes it’s in January or February,” Dr. Conover said.

Dr. Conover says there are two stomach bugs going around – one that lasts a day or two and another that’s lasting three to five days with some of the symptoms including aches and fever.

He says he’s also seeing an increase in RSV – a respiratory virus that infects mostly children. “It looks like it’s going to peak around Christmas time but you want to protect all your little children – those with fever, running nose and coughing,” Dr. Conover said.

With the holidays coming around, he says if you are someone who is sick – it’s best to rest up now, drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself away from others to stop it from spreading.

“If you have a fever you want to wait 24 to 48 hours after that fever is gone before you engage with other people and shaking their hands, giving them hugs – you want to tell them you love them from a little distance,” Dr. Conover said.

As far as protecting yourself, Dr. Conover says keeping your hands away from your mouth, always wash them and cover your sneezes and coughs.

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