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A Note From The Doctor: Stay Out Of Work, School If You Have The Flu

U.S. Emergency Rooms Inundated With Flu Patients

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Call in sick!  That is the advice from the nation's emergency physicians if you happen to have flu-like symptoms.  Doctors suggest it's one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of this year's particularly aggressive national flu outbreak.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 40 states are currently dealing with a moderate to serious flu outbreak.     

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100616/DC22034LOGO-d )

"Even with flu-like symptoms, many people still try to go to work, school or other activities," said Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).  "This is only making a bad situation worse, spreading the virus and getting more people sick.  Not to mention, you are putting yourself at greater risk of worsening your current health situation such as developing pneumonia."  Doctors advise that you rest at home until you start to feel better.

ACEP contacted emergency physicians throughout the country to get an idea of what they are experiencing in their emergency departments.  The general consensus is that they are seeing significantly higher numbers of patients with flu symptoms compared to this time in past years.   The large increase in patients is adding to an already busy emergency care system and is causing more admitted patients to be boarded in emergency departments because there are not enough inpatient hospital beds to provide for them.

Those at highest risk of flu include the elderly, pregnant women and people with special medical needs. See your doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you feel you need to go. 

Typical symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny nose and upper respiratory symptoms, headache, fatigue, and muscle or body aches.  To get over it quickly, doctors advise that you drink plenty of liquids, get rest, and if diagnosed early take antiviral medication.

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