Patients are filling up the waiting room at Premier Medical and the ladies at the front desk are checking them in for appointments. However, according to Dr. Neumann relatively few of them are here with the flu.
Dr. Neumann tells News 5, “We’ve only seen a few patients- I’d say a handful so far this year and the pediatricians I’ve spoken with say it’s about the same. There’s really not been many cases.”
Last year, at the start of flu season, we spoke with Dr. Darren Waters who said this year’s flu vaccine would determine how flu season goes.
Waters said, “If they have the right strain it could be very effective and it could really help dampen the flu around the community.”
And it appears the vaccine has been effective so far. Dr. Neumann predicts that it’s a combination of the very mild winter we’ve had and a very effective flu vaccine that account for the few cases of the flu diagnosed in our area so far this year.
Dr. Neumann said, “There’re different strains of the flu virus in the vaccination and they got it right this year. They picked the correct strains.”
However, Dr. Neumann does warn that there is usually a spike in flu cases around Mardi Gras so make sure that you protect yourself during carnival season.
You can protect yourself from the flu during Mardi Gras by regularly washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer to all events, coughing into your elbow- NOT your hands, and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth.