MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Flu season is here and hospitals are flooded with people coming in too be treated. The CDC says an alarming 41 states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, have widespread influenza activity.
"There definitely seems to be an increase in trend," said physician Randall Feather.
The flu is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system: your nose, throat and lungs. Flu-like symptoms include high fever, coughing, and a runny nose.
Doctors at St. Francis hospital say the average emergency room wait time is now up to 3 hours with at least 50 people a day coming in to be treated for the flu. To avoid the wait time many people can treat their symptoms at home.
"Make sure your taking plenty of fluids, water, juice, Gatorade, etc. and treating a lot of your other symptoms just with over the counter like Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.," Feather advised.
Feather says if you are vomiting, unable to eat or drink, or have a high fever, you should definitely go see a doctor.
He adds the best way to avoid the flu, "flu shot, good hand hygiene, good diet, exercise, good vitamins, and get plenty of rest."
Also, he says, it's not too late to get the flu shot. "Definitely not too late… it is one of the shots that you do need to get every winter, usually the earlier the better. Usually October, November just to increase your chances of not getting it."