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Local doctors warn Kansans about pneumonia uptick

It may be flu season, but local doctors say it's the season for pneumonia cases too. The flu can quickly turn into pneumonia, which is an infection in your lungs. A local doctor says right now is prime time for you to get the infection. 

Each week the CDC posts the number of deaths from the flu and pneumonia. And there's a reason for this. The latest CDC numbers show 22 people died in Kansas from pneumonia in the final week of October, and often times it starts with the Flu.

Dr. Nick Cahoj from Via Christi Health in Manhattan says, "The flu is usually more severe than our other respiratory illnesses. It can make patients more prone to a secondary bacterial infection." 
Dr. Cahoj says pneumonia is more common in winter months; a time when people are indoors more.
the virus passes through coughs and sneezes.
"I would recommend seeing a doctor, especially if you have concerns with influenza. We like to diagnose influenza early, and treatment maybe indicated if you catch it in the first 48-72 hours. Or if you have other concerning symptoms such as high fever, respiratory distress, or severe shortness of breath. The three main pillars of prevention are will be smoking cessation, influenza vaccination for all patients, and pneumococcal vaccinations for the at risk patients," explains Dr. Cahoj. 

He says at risk patients include anyone 65 years and older, smokers, and people with chronic medical conditions, like asthma or heart failure. 

Flu season lasts through March, so see your doctor or pharmacist today to get your flu shot.



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