Flu rising in Wyo; more than 400 cases this season

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Influenza is on the rise across Wyoming, with 460 cases reported so far this season, state officials and clinicians said.

The actual number is higher because most influenza patients don’t seek medical attention and don’t show up in the statistics, said Kim Deti, a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health.

She also said reporting isn’t consistent across the state’s counties.

“We know it’s not an accurate reflection,” Deti said.

Campbell County led the state with 167 cases, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Wednesday (http://tinyurl.com/ox6jqlk).

Laramie County, which includes Cheyenne, has reported 72 cases.

The number of flu cases spiked the week ending Dec. 21, when 192 cases were reported, state figures show. The previous week, 78 were logged. But that’s still far below the same week in 2012, when 502 cases were reported.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s urgent care center has seen one or two people a day with flu symptoms for the past two weeks, and at least one has tested positive almost every day, spokeswoman Kathy Baker said.

Ten people tested positive for flu at Health Reach Urgent Care Clinic in Cheyenne on Tuesday.

“We certainly have seen an increase in flu since the middle of December,” said Christine Skow-Pucel, a certified nurse practitioner at Health Reach.

Cheyenne’s Alpha Family Medicine says flu season started early, with the first case showing up in September, said Kathleen Gates, a nurse practitioner and clinic owner.

“It started very early, and it just continues,” Gates said.

Jud Gilbert’s 5-month-old daughter, Delaney, was hospitalized at Cheyenne Regional with the flu after her temperature hit 104.2 degrees.

Gilbert believes she got the flu at day care.

“I know people have to get to work, and sick time isn’t provided by all employers,” he said. “(But) sometimes when you’ve got a sick kid, you’ve got to stay home.”

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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