Jill Endicott, nurse practitioner at Freeman Seneca Family Medicine, said she’s been treating patients for the usual illnesses this winter.
“We see a lot of the common cold and some flu patients around this time,” said Endicott.
The common cold is caused by several things such as stress, lack of sleep, and several airborne viruses on surfaces, doorknobs, and tables.
“Kids — and even adults — sharing drinks and stuff is a big reason as to why they are caused,” said Endicott.
Some other things that Endicott sees in the winter are hypertension, diabetes, general flare-ups, asthma issues, viral illnesses, and strep throat.
“These past few weeks allergies have been kind of severe. A lot of people are allergic to ragweed and the weather is affecting quite a few,” said Endicott.
Endicott said she prescribes various medication to patients in the winter, depending on the issue.
“I give out various antibiotics for patients as well as amoxicillin, but it changes with every patient,” said Endicott.
Endicott also explained that if the common cold is viral related there is not always a need for an antibiotic, and to let it run its course.
“Zinc has also been studied to sometimes help in some cases as well as over the counter medicines,” said Endicott.
Now when looking at the flu, she said, it is recommended to see a doctor within the first 48 hours of symptoms.
“We just now started to see the flu in this area and it’s definitely not too late to get your flu shot,” said Endicott. “Especially if anyone has any chronic health issues, we highly recommend you get your shot.”
Endicott also offers suggestions for the best ways to prevent any health issues.
“A good hand washing is one of the best things you can do. Cough into your sleeve, reduce stress, and get enough sleep,” said Endicott.
The Freeman Seneca Family Medicine sees 16-20 patients a day, depending on the day.
“We try to work everyone in on the same day or the day after,” said Endicott.
The facility is now able to do blood work in Seneca and send it to Neosho, so patients aren’t required to drive to Neosho or Joplin.
Endicott has also been working on a partnership with the Seneca School District’s nurses.
“We are still in the infancy stages of trying to work something out with the nurses, so that if students need to be seen by a doctor while in school they can come see us. We’re offering the same to teachers,” said Endicott.
No logistics have been worked on or fine-tuned yet, she said, they are just working with ideas.
“I am part of the wellness community in Seneca, a group of parents and concerned citizens, school nurse and superintendent, and we are planning a heart heathy event on Feb. 27,” said Endicott.
The committee’s goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy choices in the Seneca community.
The Freeman Seneca Family Medicine is located at 1606 Olive St. in Seneca, and can be reached at (417) 776-5900.
By Mattie Sexton