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Triple whammy of illnesses hitting Panhandle right now

Triple whammy of illnesses hitting Panhandle right now

If it seems like an unusual number of people have been sick lately, Scotts Bluff County Health Department Director Paulette Schnell says you’re not imagining it.

Schnell tells KNEB News they have been seeing three main things Panhandle-wide. She says the first is the common cold, for which taking care of the symptoms and staying home to keep it from spreading is the best you can do.

Schnell says they are also seeing an uptick now in cases of the type “A” flu virus, or the “H1N1” variety.

“The other thing we’ve seen in Norovirus, you can have cramping and fever, which can come on quickly and go very quickly but it’s very contagious,” says Schnell. “It usually peaks between November and April, and we had a peak last month. We’ve had some long-term care facilities in the Panhandle closed to visitation because of it.”

Schnell says the most important way to reduce the spread of infections is hand washing, and doing so regularly with soap and water. She also noted it’s not too late to get a flu shot, as the peak season will still be coming up in January and February.

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