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Stomach Virus Has Hospital Full

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – At first the flu bug seemed bashful this year. Local healthcare professionals reported Friday that the bug hadn’t visited Yalobusha County.

“We haven’t seen any yet,” said Becky Haley, LPN, at Dr. Joe Walker’s Family Practice Clinic. The Coffeeville Medical Clinic also report they hadn’t seen any positive cases.

That all changed over the weekend.

Hospital Administrator Terry Varner said that Ashley Harris was working at the Odom Rural Medical Saturday and had three or four cases and Dr. Paul Odom reported that he had “a ton of flu” Monday. “It’s definitely here.”

So far, according to Varner, there have been 12 cases of flu and 14 cases of strep throat.

The Yalobusha General Hospital is full, Varner said and added that a lot of those patients are from stomach virus.

“Once the flu sets in we’re trying to figure out who we can discharge and move more serious cases in,” he added. “So far none have been admitted. We’ve had to treat them and send them home or refer them to Oxford.”

Dr. Heidi Pratt at the Odom Rural Medical Clinic recommended over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Motrin to treat the symptoms. She also recommended getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

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.

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