What's Going Around: flu and RSV

What's Going Around: flu and RSV
Dr. Robert Anderson with Calcasieu Urgent Care says flu and RSV are What's Going Around this week. (Source: KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - There is no sign of slowing down with rapidly spreading flu in Southwest Louisiana this week.  That is What's Going Around this week, along with respiratory syncytial virus, and it is all hitting kids particularly hard.

It has been non-stop for Dr. Robert Anderson and his staff at Calcasieu Urgent Care at its locations in Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, and Sulphur.

"Every day, I would say 60 to 80 percent of the people we're seeing are here to be evaluated for the flu and a lot of them have it," said Dr. Anderson.  "If they don't test positive, they have what we are calling the flu-like illnesses."

Dr. Anderson says he is seeing patients constantly, presenting with achiness, fever, coughing, and congestion.

While the flu is sickening people of all ages, he is seeing a big rise in the younger patients.

"I can testify my 1 1/2 year old baby has it as well," said Dr. Anderson, "all of a sudden 103.5 fever and they're just really not feeling well."

Dr. Anderson explains why the virus can be hard on babies and young children:

"They just don't have as much in the way of reserves and they can't clear their airways as easily," he said.  "We're seeing along those lines a lot of RSV, as well, which is a big problem for the infants."

Both RSV and flu spread very easily through droplets.

While both viruses are at high numbers this week, Dr. Anderson says there is some hope that we could be nearing the end of a widespread outbreak.

"According to the CDC map, we're in about our fifth week now of what they call 'widespread coverage' and if I look at the maps around the country, it seems like in about the eighth week it started tapering off, so we probably have about two or three more weeks," he said.

If flu is caught early, Tamiflu can help to shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms.

Treatment for flu and RSV is managing the symptoms.

It is not too late to get a flu shot.

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