Flu Bug Hits Hard in Small Offices

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- It is flu season in Region 8 and chances are if you haven't gotten it yet, you probably know someone who has.  The flu virus is constantly changing from one season to another and while a flu shot is a first line of defense, the vaccine may not always protect you from the illness.

The bug can travel fast in small offices and it's hit our friends hard at Triple-FM here in Jonesboro as they get ready for this weekend's Have a Heart Wish-A-Thon.

"The past week, it has just been horrible. It's like it goes in a complete circle here, you go and get over it and then you'll get it back," said receptionist Jinger Stacy, "This is my second time in the past two weeks of getting it."

Stacy is usually the first face you meet at Triple FM in downtown Jonesboro, but there are a lot of faces missing out sick with the flu.

"It's been one of the worst years I can remember as far as just half staff all the time," said disc jockey Bo Dalton.

Tough on an office of only 25 people and even harder with a huge event just a few days away, the Make a Wish Wish-A-Thon.

"One person out changes your entire schedule for the day and sometimes for the entire week," said Dalton. The flu causes around 36,000 deaths every year in the United States and costs around $10 billion dollars, but organizers at Triple FM say they hope to it won't hurt at this year's annual Make a Wish Wish-A-Thon.

"We do a lot of this on the microphones," said station manager Bill Pressly, "And we wash our hands a lot and don't touch anything or anyone. We don't shake any hands and don't use pens. I usually spray these keyboards things down, as a matter of fact I am about to go on air so we spray those things down as well. This stuff is good...whoops, I'm out...gotta get some more!"

While germs are the target at Triple FM, the staff is holding it together to make sure this Friday's Wish-A-Thon goes off without a hitch.

"Sunday I can be sick, until then, no.  After the Wish-A-Thon, and then it's ok," laughed Stacy.

The Centers for Disease Control says getting vaccinated now can still provide you protection from the flu for the remainder of the flu season.  Flu vaccines are still available.