OhioHealth Medical Minute: Flu Season
Health officials in Florida say a young child died from the flu this week. We are starting flu season around the country, and doctors are reporting seeing some presenting to emergency departments with what appears to be the flu, or flu-like symptoms.
"That is certainly something we'll have to monitor this year, and yes, we are seeing more people showing signs of flu earlier than we normally do," Dr. Bruce Jones, Medical Director, Emergency Department at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital.
Dr. Jones says that those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, or breathing issues like asthma, along with the elderly or very young need to be extra vigilant during flu season.
"One of the questions we get is, when should I come to the emergency room if I feel like I have the flu? Our options inside the emergency department are limited with a flu case," Dr. Jones said. "We can give fever reducing medications, administer fluids to try and help. Still, if you feel like you need to be seen by someone in the emergency department, or want to be seen by your primary care physician, you should."
There are plenty of myths surrounding the flu shot. First, some believe that getting the flu shot will give you the flu. Dr. Jones says, that is not the case.
"That is a myth, in fact, it is the reason some say they won't get the flu shot. The truth of the matter is it won't give you the flu, and those that get the flu shot each year, decrease their chances of getting the flu," Jones said.
Dr. Jones says the strain of flu targeted with each year's vaccination will never be perfect, but added the hope is that it gets as close as possible, and will make an impact on people avoiding the flu altogether, or at least having the impact lessened if you did get a touch of the flu.
OhioHealth primary care physicians are already seeing an increased number of patients asking about the flu shot. The supplies are coming in regularly, and pharmacy teams are staying in contact with distributors to make sure they have enough supply to keep up with demand.
If you would like more information on the flu and flu shot, you can check out the CDC website here.