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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Flu Season Hitting Arkansas Early

While it might be early for flu season, it’s already starting to make it’s impact here in the natural state.

October might sound early for flu season, but the Arkansas Department of Health just issued their first weekly flu report for the 2019-2020 season.

As of October 5th there have been 70 reported cases of the flu here in the natural state.

NEA Baptist nurse practitioner, Jessica Womble says what symptoms people can expect from the flu.

“Joint pain, fever, aching all over, runny nose, um, a lot of people describe it “i got hit by Mack truck”, and they come in feeling terrible, and be the same type symptoms. some people have the upset stomach.”

During the 2018-2019 flu season there were 120 deaths in the state being flu related, with two of those deaths being children. according to the CDC, the average school days missed per year because of the flu is 3, but here in arkansas it is over 5 days.

Nettleton School District nurse, Lori Ellis explains what teachers are doing to prevent the spread of germs in their schools.

“We’ve already got our first case of flu reported by a doctor, um we got notified this week. we try to make sure they sneeze and cough into their elbows and not on their hands, the young ones like touching you know and spreading germs. we make sure our staff is cleaning the rooms you know. cleaning door knobs and sinks anything their hands would touch we try to keep those things clean.”

Womble also wanted to emphasize that people who say they’re healthy and don’t want the shot might want to rethink that, because they could be putting people with weak immune systems or children or at risk for getting sick.


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