Doctors say illnesses after flu can be more serious

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Katy Jacks is a seventh grader at Fredonia Hill Baptist Academy, one of the many school districts that experienced closures, because of high numbers of influenza cases.

"My body physically hurt. I was still achy and I got a lot of headaches," Jacks said.

After about a week with the illness, Jacks said she was fever free. But, that didn't last long.

"And, I was like, okay, this is good," Jacks said. "I'm getting over it. And, then, I got a fever. Like 103 degree fever."

According to pediatricians, like Lufkin's Children's Clinic, Dr. Christina Graves, the weakened immune system that the flu causes in a person can leave the door open to other illnesses.

"The fever should be gone after a week with the normal flu, and so if you find you're getting better and then you suddenly worsen again with a fever that would suggest that you potentially have a secondary bacterial infection," Graves said. "And, you probably should be seen."

And, unfortunately, these illnesses can end up being even more dangerous than the actual flu.

"I would say about fifteen to twenty percent of kiddos will come back with secondary illnesses, ear infections, sinus infections, and even pneumonia," Graves said. "And, a lot of those pneumonia cases can be treated. But, we don't want to risk them not coming and being treated because that can be very dangerous."

The recent report from Texas' Health and Human Services, showing that flu cases are only increasing, are pushing doctors to advise longer periods of isolation.

"Keep them home," Graves said. "If they're running fevers, it might not be a bad idea to come in to see if they need Tamiflu or if they have something else already. Really, just seeing your physician at this point."

Doctors also urge simply covering your cough and washing your hands.

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