Marion County Braces for Winter Illness Onslaught
By BOB PALMER
Squirrel season opens Oct. 7.
Deer season begins Nov. 3.
Hand washing season began Oct. 1 in Marion County, Nita Little, FNP, and Byron Hutson, MPAS, advise.
“The flu season is six months long,” Hutson said this week.
“It runs from October through March,” Little noted. “Last year the flu outbreak was pretty bad.”
“Based on what we have seen in Australia, the flu season is projected to be a bad one this year,” Hutson said.
Both health professionals urged local residents to get flu and pneumonia vaccinations.
The Genesis Primecare clinic on Alley Street offers low cost or free inoculations.
In Marion County, Little said another health issue deserves attention, as well.
“We are seeing a lot of Hepatitis C cases,” Little said.
“Anyone who was born between 1945 and 1965, before blood screening became routine, should be screened for Hep C,” Hutson explained.
“Hepatitis C is usually asymptomatic,” Little noted, “but if you are showing symptoms, you need to also be checked.
Obesity is another concern locally.
“In the last 10 years, there has been 26 percent increase in obesity among men in Marion County,” Hutson said. Among women the obesity increase here is 20 percent.
Both Little and Hutson recommend exercise and diet to address the weight problem which often leads to other issues.
“We see patients with chronic health issues like diabetes and blood pressure problems,” Little said. “Unfortunately, it’s not anything new.”
Another health problem has become an issue lately.
“We see a lot of depression related to the high stress society,” Little revealed.
The bullet point health care tips for Marion County residents from Little and Hutson are: watch your diet, exercise, quit smoking, get flu and pneumonia vaccinations, wash your hands frequently, and sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow.
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