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Plumas health care providers still dealing with seasonal flu

Now they have the coronavirus to consider

Really? Isn’t there enough to worry about in this world already and now we have to add the coronavirus to the list. Did most people even know where Wuhan, China, was until last week? Every day brings more alarming news about the virus. First it was spreading throughout China, then other Asian countries, then the United States and now Europe. Every day we find out more details. Yes, it can spread from human to human. Oh, and by the way, it appears that one person spreads it to two or three more.

Coronavirus is managing to push climate change right off the front page. It’s a little reminiscent of Ebola a couple of years ago. But this time the epicenter is home to millions of people, who had already carried on with their lives and traveled, before the dangers were known. So what to do? Experts caution those with plans to travel to China to beware. Even if the final destination isn’t Wuhan, there are concerns. Is that same warning going to expand as the virus expands its presence in other countries? Is it prudent to change plans or overkill?

It’s probably too soon to tell, but no doubt we will have some answers in the coming weeks. Even in Plumas County, where health care providers are still dealing with the seasonal flu, they are preparing to screen for coronavirus by including questions about a patient’s recent travels.

Those queries are now centered on trips to Asia, but what about those people who might have unwittingly crossed paths with someone on a domestic route? As the coronavirus spreads, it will be more difficult to isolate the locations that are cause for concern.

But those are still unknowns. What is known is that we are still in the heart of the “regular” flu season, for want of a better word. In Plumas, health care providers began this season seeing mostly type B flu, but that has changed and now more type A cases are emerging. And yes, they are different, so one can fall victim to both. While the seasonal flu sounds far less scary than coronavirus, the reality is that we in Plumas are far more likely to catch the seasonal flu, which can lead to serious respiratory issues including pneumonia. Anecdotally, we all know of someone or many people who have been sick this flu season. It certainly swept through this newspaper, with very few emerging unscathed.

This week’s edition of the newspaper includes an article that addresses the seasonal flu in Plumas and lists ways to help protect you and your family. Take them to heart. This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday. There will be a lot of gatherings with big bowls of chips and pretzels. This would be a good time to invest in scoops so that guests aren’t reaching into a communal bowl. Is this being prudent or overkill? We think it’s prudent. Go 49ers!

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