Doctors urge the public to take flu advice seriously

It is becoming more and more important to heed advice about contracting and managing the flu as the state continues to experience the worst flu season in years.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Central Arkansas clinics and pharmacies have seen an influx of patients this flu season.

"We're getting a lot more people with positive flu tests, said Sarah Anderson, a physician assistant at Central Arkansas Urgent Care. "We're getting a lot more patients in complaining of flu-like symptoms. We're getting a lot of people in who are fearful that they have the flu."

Whether they test positive or not, Anderson said higher patient volume indicates people are taking the risk seriously.

"From what we've seen they definitely are [heeding the warnings], especially in the Little Rock area," she said. "We're seeing more patients come in with questions or to be evaluated for possible flu symptoms. I think those numbers of the non-flu people coming in are those people who are heeding warnings and coming in and letting us evaluate to make sure they're okay.

At Walmart Supercenter in North Little Rock, pharmacists are seeing similar trends.

"We've been incredibly busy with acute illnesses, whether it's the flu or any other respiratory type thing," said pharmacist Casey Moix.

Though the CDC typically recommends people get a flu shot early in the season, Moix said it's not too late.

"I don't want anybody to think they're not going to be available because it's so late in the year," she said. "We are still urging people to get their flu vaccine because it's the best way that you can protect yourself as far as medicine and that kind of thing."

Doctors with the CDC also recommend people wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face.

If you experience flu-like symptoms, experts suggest you see a doctor but otherwise avoid getting out.

"You may not feel very bad, or say you're recovering from the flu, wait until you're recovered before going grocery shopping before you go back to work because you may get someone who is immunocompromised sick," said Anderson.

Anderson said Central Arkansas Urgent Care has seen a number people who are already sick come in to ask about flu shots. The CDC recommends anyone who doesn't feel well or has a fever to talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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