Local clinics see steady amount of flu-related cases
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash— A decrease in the amount of flu cases seen at local emergency rooms isn't anything to get too excited about.
“We really haven't seen a decline in flu activity,” said Victoria Larios with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
According to the Yakima Health District, the county saw a drop in flu-related hospital emergency room visits.
Last week, ER’s reported 176 flu-related cases, compared to the week before when there were 205.
But, Larios says their clinics haven't seen much of a difference in the amount of cases, and that it's still very widespread.
They've had a steady flow of patients.
She says the community should still be on their toes when it comes to the virus.
“People should still definitely be getting the flu shot. Anyone six months and older. Especially the vulnerable populations,” said Larios.
Because of the volume of people the Farm Workers clinics are seeing for the flu, they've had to make some changes and accommodations.
“Some of the things we are doing at our clinics to make sure patients are not spreading the flu, is making sure they're calling our clinics to speak with the nurse prior to coming in,” said Larios.
And if its determined they likely have the flu and need medical attention?
“We bring them in through an alternate door and also request that patients wear a mask,” she said.
Larios says we're still very much in the thick of the season, and people should wash their hands regularly, get vaccinated, and disinfect areas, such as door knobs, phones, and computer keyboards, to prevent the spread of germs.
Yakima County still sits at four flu-related deaths this season, while the state has had 132.