Le Bonheur doctors say nearly all current flu cases are H1N1 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Le Bonheur doctors say nearly all current flu cases are H1N1

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - With an influx of emergency room flu patients, Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center administrators held a news conference Monday to equip parents with facts about this year's flu season.

"We know that pretty much all the flu circulating in our community right now is the H1N1 novel virus," said Dr. Keith English, Director of Infectious Disease at Le Bonheur.

Intake in the emergency room reached a high over the last week, with twice as many children coming in with flu symptoms.  Most of them have H1N1, better known as Swine Flu.

"We are concerned that this is just starting and so our numbers may be getting even higher," Dr. Barry Gilmore said.

Gilmore said the hospital's emergency room is very busy, so parents should visit their child's pediatrician if possible.

"'About 100 patients a day are being seen, but only a couple of those patients are actually being admitted," he said.

People under age 25 are at higher risk of getting H1N1, especially infants.  Those with lung, heart, kidney, liver, neurological and immune diseases, diabetes, and pregnant women could also face complications.

"We certainly recommend treating anyone who is sick enough to be in the hospital with the flu," English said.

Doctors said treatment is most effective when you get the vaccine Osotamivir, known as Tamiflu.

"This might change if this outbreak is very large because, we might start running out of Osotamivir," English said.

The common flu vaccine is available now, but the H1N1 vaccine will not be available until October.

Your best defense right now:

  • Handwashing and keeping your hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.

The symptoms to watch for:

  • Fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat runny nose, muscle aches, lack of appetite, coughing and stomach issues

For more information about the H1N1 virus, click here.

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