What's Going Around: Doctors Say Flu Season Is Ramping Up

Thursday, October 10th 2013, 9:47 pm
By: News On 6

Beginning this week, we'll be regularly checking in with the doctors and nurses from our partners at the The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health to see which nasty bugs might be going around in your area. We'll also be talking with them about any recent medical breakthroughs.

We'll start by visiting the tribe's newest outpatient facility.

It's state-of-the-art. Built in 2006, the Koweta Indian Health Facility is the newest of eight Muscogee (Creek) Nation Health Systems.

As the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary of Health, Lt. Commander Seneca Smith knows it well.

"This is where we have always been users of the system and we will continue to always be a user of the system," Smith said. "I have been using the system since I was a little boy, so we have excellent healthcare providers."

Inside, just to make it easy on their patients, it's a one-stop shop, each area with its own waiting room.

"We have a medical clinic, and then we have dental, pharmacy, radiology, optometry, physical therapy. We try and make all facilities have all the same services in each clinic, so we have all our services under one building," Smith said.

Currently staffed with 108 employees, there are 20 exam rooms, 16 dental rooms, three new CT scanners, dozens of radiologists and labs and enough nurses and doctors to cut down on wait time. That's something Smith is proud of.

"You just can't beat it," he said. The healthcare is excellent. You have excellent providers and excellent staff that care about their patients."

This clinic is in Coweta. The other clinics are located in Eufaula, Okemah, Okmulgee, Sapulpa, and Wetumka.

We asked Smith what they were seeing a lot of in the clinic lately.

"We switched from--there was a lot of sinus and congestion and unfortunately now we are getting into the flu season and we are starting to gear that up, so we are anticipating a lot of patients coming through our doors around this time, and so we are just making sure we are prepared," Smith said.

Another illness Dr. Jim Harjo said he is seeing at the Koweta Indian Health Facility is acute sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection. Signs and symptoms include mainly fever, sinus pain and congestion, generalized weakness and the hallmark facial headache.

Treatment, according to the good doctor, includes, "lots of fluids and rest, Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain and fever."

Sinus infections generally require 14 days of oral antibiotics. But an important part of treatment is a good over-the-counter decongestant. The doctor said that is just as important, if not more important than the antibiotics.