MOUNT VERNON — Flu season is in full force, and the ailment is hitting the area hard.
Jackie Fletcher, nursing director at the Knox County Health Department, said influenza hit earlier this year than ever before.
The health department’s clinic has seen more people suffering with the flu than during the same time frame last year, and Knox Community Hospital saw double the number of influenza patients in November and three times the number in December compared to 2011.
There are two main strains this year, Fletcher said, Influenza A and Influenza B. The symptoms, which strike quickly, are similar — a feeling of achiness, exhaustion, fever, lack of appetite and, occasionally, nausea. Type A symptoms appear to be more severe than those with Influenza B.
“Severe symptoms are possible with both viruses,” said Elaine Flowers, infection preventionist with Knox Community Hospital.
“Both strains are covered in the flu shot,” Fletcher said. “If you’ve taken a flu shot, you should be OK, or if you do come down with it, you should come down with a milder form of illness.”
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