ER Trips Not Always Needed for Flu Symptoms

ER Trips Not Always Needed for Flu Symptoms

The fear of getting the flu is the reason tens of thousands of people have been running to hospital emergency rooms and doctor's offices. But is that necessary?
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The fear of getting the flu is the reason tens of thousands of people have been running to hospital emergency rooms and doctor's offices. But is that necessary?

"We've just been inundated with patients with the flu and flu-like symptoms," said Dr. Mark Castellaw with the BMG Medical Group in Memphis. With a deadly flu outbreak underway, that's the reason thousands of Mid-Southerners have been rushing to doctor's offices and emergency rooms.

But running to the hospital at the slight hint of sickness, "We try to discourage that, especially going to the emergency room," he said.

He attributes the high number of flu cases this year to the low number of cases from last year when the flu was very mild.

"I kind of think that lulled people to complacency about getting a flu shot early in the fall that resulted in the more flu cases we see now."

Dr. Castellaw says there is a time when you should go see a doctor. "If your symptoms don't go away, especially if you have a real high fever, then get checked… Elderly patients, people with chronic medical conditions that don't get better after 48 hours really need to get checked."

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