People with Flu symptoms urged to stay home

People with Flu symptoms urged to stay home
(Source: Sydney Kessler)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Many people associate flu season with November and December, but few realize that the peak of flu season isn’t until February or March.

Right now in Lubbock, more and more people are getting sick, and heading to the emergency room, but doctors at covenant medical center say coming to the ER for the flu is overkill.

“Don’t go to the ER, don’t go to the urgent care, don’t go to your primary physician because you’re going to be spreading it,” explains Dr. Juan Fitz, an emergency room doctor with Covenant Health.

“Hospitals right now are very very full, and we really don’t have room to be hospitalizing people for symptomatic treatments, it’s best done at home,” Dr. Craig Rhyne, the Regional Chief Medical Officer for Covenant Health, said.

All of which scares Dr. Fitz as we head into peak season. If symptoms do start to develop, Dr. Fitz has some unconventional tips to take note of.

“A lot of people say drink lots of orange juice. I tell people drink lemonade, it’s not as bad on the stomach," Fitz said. "If you have a sore throat, eat marshmallows, it coats the throat, or drink honey. Take a hot bath, it’ll help sweat it out a little bit.”

And don’t forget, Dr. Rhyne said, it’s not to late to get your flu shot. While many people with the flu are fine after a week, for others there can be deadly complications. Doctors say old and young individuals are at the highest risk. Keep an eye out for breathing problems, sudden dizziness, chest or abdominal pains, and confusion.

“We’re still giving flu shots. We’ve been lucky this year. I think the influenza vaccine this year has been more effective than it has been in some previous years," Rhyne said. "So we think that it is still okay to get flu shots, and still advisable for people who have not received their flu shot to go ahead and receive it now.”

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