Many cities across the nation have seen increased cases of the flu, and local doctors are saying Lubbock is no exception. Just in the last two to three weeks local clinics and emergency rooms are getting a significant increase in the number of positive flu cases and patients coming in with flu-like symptoms.
"It's definitely worse than last year from my experience," Doctor Jason Lentz with the UMC's Minor Emergency Clinic said. "A large amount of people are starting to get sick, and we are running several tests a day for the flu and many are coming back positive."
Lentz says the flu season typically starts in October and ends in March, and he can already tell it's going to be a bad year for the flu. "We have several months to go and we've just seen this increase in number of cases recently so you can probably expect that to keep going the next several weeks or possibly a month," Lentz said.
The main symptoms associated with the flu include elevated fever, body aches, chills, nasal congestion, coughing and running nose. Lentz says if you begin to get these symptoms – mainly the high fever and severe body aches – you should go to the doctor. "That way if you do test positive, and it's within the first 48 hours you'd definitely be a candidate for Tamiflu which has been shown very effective for treating the flu," he said.
Lentz also says it's extremely important for the young and elderly to get flu shots because if they do come down with the flu they are more likely to develop other complications associated with it like bronchitis, upper respiratory infections and pneumonia.
If it's too late be prescribed Tamiflu, Lentz says the best thing to do is drink plenty of liquids, rest and take over-the-counter medications for the symptoms like runny nose, coughing and body aches.
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