Flu and other respiratory illnesses continue in Green Country

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 1/23/2013 11:02 am Published: 1/22/2013 9:42 pm

Flu season is still alive and well in Green Country, but local pediatricians say other respiratory illnesses are also a cause for concern.

Dr. Kathy Boyls is a pediatrician at Harvard Family Physicians in east Tulsa. Dr. Boyls tells FOX23 the clinic has been swamped with patients; many of them suffering from the flu.

“We’ve had a pretty heavy flu season this year,” said Dr. Boyls, “mostly seeing Influenza type A and a little type B.”

Dr. Boyls says during the past few weeks she has noticed other types of respiratory illness matriculating into patient cases.

The pediatrician says she has treated patients with strep throat, bronchitis and the stomach flu.

“This week we saw some gastro-intestinal illnesses which cause vomiting and diarrhea and many people have had that affect their family,” said Dr. Boyls.

In some instances Dr. Boyls says patients can get a double dose of sickness depending on what they are exposed to.

“I’ve actually had some kids that have strep throat and flu at the same time,” said Dr. Boyls.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Saint Francis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Michael Chang, says that the medical field has developed new tests that are capable of detecting multiple viruses in a single test.

Dr. Chang says so far this season he hasn’t treated patients who are suffering from multiple illnesses.

“It’s mainly flu that is the majority of things we are seeing right now,” said Dr. Chang.

Dr. Chang says the influenza virus is the most commonly identified respiratory illness he has treated recently but he has noticed an influx in other respiratory diseases including Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.

“That’s a disease more common in younger children who are typically under the age of two,” said Dr. Chang.

Both physicians reiterated to FOX23 that the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to practice good hygiene.

They also encourage parents or caretakers to take their child to their family physician if the child is suffering from a fever.

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