BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- You probably don't know Kat LeGrand, but you may be able to imagine how badly she has been feeling lately.
“Like crap," she said with a laugh, “and I don't feel like doing anything.”
LeGrand has been sick with bronchitis for three weeks now.
Dr. Tim Saxe, an internal medicine physician with St. Mary’s Medical Center, said he’s seeing a whole host of symptoms similar to Kat’s.
“There is one going around that lingers with a cough," Saxe said, "and the cough just has a tickle right here, and it seems to last three weeks ... A lot of people have a lot of trouble with being tired and fatigued because they can't sleep at night because of this cough.”
Jody Hayes has been up all night coughing, too.
“I don't feel bad," Hayes said. "It's just inconvenient, constant clearing your throat, blowing your nose that kind of thing.”
Little sleep, plus the fluctuating temperatures that have people wearing shorts one day and out sledding the next, have something to do with all the sickness we are seeing.
“All of these things are stressors on the body," Saxe said. "And although it doesn’t make the bacteria or the virus grow more, if your body is under stress, your ability to fight infection or protect yourself goes down.”
Saxe says it’s the perfect recipe for upper respiratory and viral infections and sinusitis. But believe it or not, the flu hasn’t been as bad as originally thought. However, by all accounts, it is worse than last year’s, which was described as “mild.”
So if not the flu, what is Saxe seeing?
“This year has been a little bit different in that we are seeing more viruses that are normally seen in children and the pediatric population,” he said.
He went on to say, “We've been seeing some slap face disease that looks like their cheeks are bright red and they run a bit of a fever, and it's a five day course. We've also been seeing some hand, foot and mouth disease in the adults, which generally we don't see.”