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What to be aware of this Flu, COVID-19, and Cold season

The current global pandemic has changed life as we know it and has created the need for our country and healthcare system to adapt. Cody Regional Health’s Walk-In-Clinic has had to change and adapt to provide quality healthcare to our community. As we move towards cold and flu season we want our community to know more about how to stay healthy and options available if you get sick.

It’s difficult to foresee how widespread influenza will be this year. We are hopeful that with social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and other infection control measures we can lower the number of people who contract influenza this season. We recommend that anyone who can get vaccinated for influenza do so. This is the best way to strengthen your body against the influenza virus.

This year presents different challenges than we have experienced in past winters regarding infectious disease. Some patients with COVID may only present with mild symptoms like runny nose or congestion. We recommend testing for anyone who is symptomatic. If you are not experiencing symptoms (asymptomatic) or are mildly symptomatic, please use the drive-thru testing currently available Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 am – 11 am located at the Cody Stampede Rodeo grounds.

If you have symptoms and would like to be evaluated by a medical professional we recommend patients be seen at the Walk-In Clinic located at the Cathcart Health Center on 424 Yellowstone Avenue in Cody, Wyoming, or in the Emergency Department. CRH Walk-In Clinic evaluates respiratory patients Monday-Friday 11 am to 3 pm and Sat-Sun 10 am to 2 pm.

If patients are experiencing severe symptoms to include chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling faint, dehydration, unmanageable fever they should be evaluated in the ER and not the Walk-In-Clinic.

A patient can suffer COVID-19 along with other infections. In the fall and winter, other commonly seen viruses include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, parainfluenza, adenovirus, metapneumovirus, etc. While rare, it’s absolutely possible to suffer from more than one infection at the same time.

Treatment of patients who don’t need to be hospitalized includes rest, using acetaminophen for fever, drinking lots of fluids. This illness takes time to improve. Listen to your body and rest. Other supportive treatments are sometimes used, but there are no specific treatments available for patients who don’t require hospitalization. Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness like runny nose, body aches, sore throat, cough, fever, fatigue, even diarrhea should stay home. It's important to understand that many people will have mild illness with COVID-19 and the current survival rate in Park county for those with COVID-19 is 99%. Patients who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 for over 15 minutes should be quarantined for 14 days; regardless of whether a test is performed.

We all need to work together to limit the spread not only of COVID-19 but other respiratory diseases. Those with mild or no symptoms are a major route for the virus to spread to our more vulnerable population like the elderly and those with comorbid conditions like asthma, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. If you’re sick, stay home. If you need to be checked out and don’t have severe symptoms the Walk-In-Clinic is here to help. If you have questions about being around someone that was positive for COVID-19 or have other questions please call the Department of Health at 1(800) 786-2844 ext. 8570.

Cody Regional Health will work hard to meet the needs of our valued Park County family.