Flu Season is here. Here’s how to keep your family safe

Common practices of cleanliness help combat the flu season, and other viruses that may creep in throughout the year.


With flu season starting and the cold months ahead, Gray County Health Authority Dr. Kevin Sieck gives some insight into staying safe.

“This years’ flu season started sooner than we’ve seen in previous years,” Sieck said. “But we know the colder months are going to bring sickness, so the general rules of just keeping yourself clean and avoiding anyone that is sick. But also if you are sick, don’t go around people. With any kind of fever, you shouldn’t go around anyone for at least 24 hours after breaking that fever.”

While the hospital is still seeing cases of Covid, the amount and severity have minimized over the past two years. The hospital typically sees flu season starting around February, but the cases have started as soon as two weeks ago.

“We are getting positive tests daily for the flu,” Sieck said. “There’s actually a shortage on flu testing kits right now and you aren’t able to get those for at home testing like you can with Covid.”

With flu season going, and Covid still around, it’s possible to have both at the same time. Sieck has seen patients that didn’t think they had the flu because it felt more like Covid. But it is possible to see both at one time.

“We were at a low rate of Covid for a few months,” Sieck said. “But we are at a high rate now of cases we’re seeing, but the severity isn’t progressing into the conditions people were having the last two years.”

The hardest part about determining what sickness you may have is due to the fact that most viral infections are so similar in symptoms. While Covid and flu are more prominent with fatigue and aches, allergies due to the weather can also cause these symptoms.

“If you feel sick, get to the doctor, waiting it out is never the best option,” Sieck said. “With flu and Covid you have to get on the medication within five days of symptoms otherwise the medicine doesn’t work to the effect it needs to.”

Along with the flu season, RSV is also a prominent illness people get during this time.

“This time a year RSV is always prevalent, especially with kids,” Sieck said. “Adults can also get RSV to some level, but we also have flu season and stomach bugs that start coming around. This time of year there’s so many things going around. The worst part is that you can have one illness one week, and get something else the next week.”

While doctors are seeing loads of different illnesses, the primary job of finding out how to treat whichever sickness it is, is always prominent.

“It’s around the holidays and we all want to go places and see people in our lives,” Sieck said. “But not being around when you’re sick helps you and them. The peak time to avoid people is when you have a fever because you’re the most contagious.”

Dr. Sieck’s advice, take care of yourself ahead of anything else. For those that don’t want to visit the hospital, Urgent Care has extended hours through the weekend.

“One thing about Urgent Care that I am very excited about, is our new buzzer system.” Jenifer Richards, Director of Medical Group Operations said. “For those that don’t want to wait in the waiting room, we’ve now gotten in long range buzzer’s that allow you to wait out in your car if you’re worried about being around others.”

Staying vigilant with the viruses going around is key for this season of year. If you feel sick, go to the doctor.

Urgent Care is opened Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. till 7, and Saturdays 9 a.m. till 3 p.m.

Urgent Care sees all ages, and accepts numerous health care providers. To contact Urgent Care call them at (806)688-8800 or visit them at 3023 Perryton Parkway, suite 100.