Despite harsher flu cases, hospital visits on par with other seasons

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Doctors believe we are at the peak of flu season (KTRK)

Hospitals and urgent cares are seeing an increase in cases of the flu. Doctors said sometimes a visit to your primary care physician is all you really need.

When you have the flu, it's miserable. Doctors believe we are at the peak of flu season.

Dr. Michael Chang said it may appear that this season is worse than others because it started earlier. In addition, he said instead of a gradual increase in cases, we saw a spike.

However, Chang said this flu season is on pace with past years.

"As far as our volumes here, certainly the urgent cares and the emergency rooms are really busy for all of our sites, but the volume of patients having to come into the hospital and being admitted seems probably on par with other years that we've had," said Chang, who is a specialist in pediatric and infectious diseases at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

In a check of area hospitals, all are seeing more patients coming in with flu-like symptoms.

According to Chang, if you can't keep down fluids or if you're having trouble breathing, you may need to go to the hospital. Otherwise, resting or visiting your family physician might be the best treatment.

"If they can stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids, get rest and they don't have a high-risk condition, like underlying lung disease, or immune system problems, then they may not necessarily need to go to the emergency or to the urgent care," said Chang.

There are four strains of the flu. Dr. Chang said even if you caught the flu, it doesn't mean you are immune from the other strains.

He recommends you still get the immunization.
Related Topics:
healthfluflu preventionflu seasonhospitalsu.s. & world
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