WATER VALLEY – The influenza bug is biting in Yalobusha County and “We’re knee deep in flu,” said Dr. Paul Odom who has seen more than a dozen cases over the weekend at the Odom Rural Medical Clinic in Water Valley. He added that the nasal swab tests have been positive for the type “A” strain.
“The two old doctors are still battling,” Odom said referring to himself and Dr. Joe Walker since the flu bug has hit three other area health care professionals; Nurse Practitioner Holly Robertson, Dr. Heidi Pratt, and Dr. Dragica “D.” Milicevic.
On Tuesday afternoon Hospital Administrator Terry Varner reported that Dr. Walker “wasn’t feeling too well, either.”
“We just about whipped him,” Nurse Practitioner Becky Haley said about Dr. Walker. “But I believe he will bounce back.”
Hailey also reported that Walker had been seeing a lot of children at Family Practice.
Appointments are hard to get at the local clinics. “They’ve been booked solid,” Varner said, “People were lined up out in the parking lot waiting to get in.”
Varner added that in a worse case scenario, patients would be referred to Baptist Hospital in Oxford. There are also nurse practitioners still available as well. Varner said that he had never seen it hit the doctors so hard.
School officials are reporting that absentees are running just a little higher than normal. At Davidson Elementary School, Principal Chester Drewery said that about 77 students out of 750 were absent.
Principal Glenn Kitchens said that absences may be up “by a dozen or so” at Water Valley High School. Nothing significant yet, he added.
Absences are reported to be about the same as usual at Coffeeville High School.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports 27 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in counties throughout Mississippi.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, and often, extreme fatigue. Sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose are also often present.