Wichita doctors seeing rise in viral illnesses

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many Kansans coming down with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Dr. Gretchen Irwin of Wesley Family Medicine says it’s that time of year.

“We see lots of people coming in especially after they have been traveling for the holidays and being around family and friends. Then afterwards, we have lots of folks coming in with sinus infections, fever, chills, just not feeling very well,” says Irwin.

In the last two weeks, she’s says more than a 1,000 patients have checked into Wesley Family Medicine. Nearly half of them have been diagnosed with some kind of viral illness like strep throat, a cold or a stomach illness.

Donna Pollock will be the first to tell you.

“Sinus infection or possibly ear infection. I have been coughing up stuff and my ears swollen and hearing problems,” says Pollock.

Dr. Irwin says travel and good weather are likely to blame, leading to more people spending time together outdoors and spreading germs. So, the rise in illness doesn’t come as that much of a surprise.

She says keep those hands clean and watch out for flu symptoms.

“You will feel like you have been hit by a truck,” says Irwin.

While Irwin says she has only seen a handful of influenza cases (five) this flu season, she still recommends the flu shot.

“You can still get your flu shot and still be protected for the rest of flu season which goes until about March, so there’s still quite a bit of it left,” says Irwin.

She says the vaccine only takes two weeks to kick in.