What professionals are expecting to see from the flu in North Mississippi

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Flu season is making an early appearance in Mississippi, and that’s especially true here in the Northern part of the state.

In fact, North Mississippi is ranked number two on Walgreens’ national Flu Index Map.

The flu has been spreading, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

That has area doctors concerned.

We all know the symptoms: body aches, fever, runny nose, or a dry cough.

Healthcare professionals, like Dr. Jordan Steele, are seeing more people with those symptoms coming through their doors.

“Volume is super high right now with mostly flu. It’s all ages. We’re seeing kids as young as a year old all the way to the elderly in their 80s with the flu. Volume is up overall for the flu 50-60 people a day. Some days we may see up to 30 cases and for the past month or so that has been the norm,” said Steele.

Steele said the increase in flu cases may boil down to a lack of caution.

“We’re going to football games, basketball games. We’re going to restaurants. We’re just more together and I agree with that wholly. I think we should.
I think that it’s normal for us as a society, but with that, there is always going to be increased incidents in communicable illness and I think that is why we are seeing an uptick in the flu, ” said Steele.

With public activities resuming, schools are back to full-time, face-to-face learning this year.

Head of School at Oak Hill Academy, Dr. Cathy Davis says that pandemic procedures have helped them keep their flu numbers down.

“So far this year we have not had a problem with the flu. We have had a few isolated cases here and there, but we’ve been very fortunate so far and we hope that trend continues at Oak Hill,” said Davis.

Retired West Point and Clay County Emergency Management, Director Kerrie Blissard is now the Communication Manager for the school.

She said that she and her staff have a plan in place if there is a flu outbreak.

“We have a text messaging system, email system, that we utilize here at the school. If we have, for instance during the Covid situation, if we had an isolated case in a classroom we would send a notice to those class parents regarding that situation,” said Blissard.

Even if the school has to close because of an outbreak, classes can go on without missing a beat.

“We do have the capabilities here for every teacher to record themselves and to do lessons from the classroom. We have online lesson plans. We have online capabilities that would be a seamless way for our students to continue learning,” said Davis.

Steele said that it is always a good idea to get the flu shot.

While it doesn’t provide 100% protection, your symptoms will be less severe than if you didn’t get the shot.

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