Winter Flu Cases Surge in Unalaska

Tuesday, January 29 2013

Winter has brought another outbreak of flu to Unalaska. Eileen Conlon Scott is the director of the Iliuliuk Family and Health Services Clinic. She says her staff have seen plenty of flu patients over the past few months.

Now that A-season is underway, Scott says the bug is spreading in the bunkhouses at the processing plants.

"I mean, people are coming in vanloads," Scott says.

But the clinic hasn’t seen many severe cases. Scott says that only one flu or pneumonia patient has had to be medevacked. For everyone else, treatment is fairly straightforward.

"The only thing you can do is put them on bedrest with lots of liquid for two days," she says. "There’s really no cure."

Flu season usually hits Unalaska a little later than in the lower 48. Scott says people should still think about getting the vaccine if they haven’t already — even if they’ve caught the flu this year.

That’s because natural immunity won’t cover every strain that’s going around. Scott says the vaccine protects against multiple kinds of flu, and it’s the best way to prevent getting sick twice.

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