We hear about flu cases every year and that push to get a flu shot. But doctors say this year you may want to heed their advice.
"I would say that we're seeing a large number of cases this season and that we have seen a lot more serious illness resulting from positive flu swabs," Dr. Blayke Gibson with UAB Hospital said.
Dr. Gibson has seen her fair share of patients come into the ER. She said even staff are taking extra precautionary measures.
"As soon as a patient comes in [who] seems to have symptoms consistent with the flu, [we're] placing a mask on that patient," said Dr. Gibson.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health Alabama is still seeing a widespread outbreak.
Dr. Gibson said if you have to go to the ER, do so, but if you're able to go to your general doctor it may be in your favor.
"If there is a chance that their primary care physician can take care of them then that is obviously preferred because if you come to the ER there is a good chance you'll be exposed to something like the flu so we prefer that patients who are the sickest come to the emergency department," said Dr. Gibson.
Dr. Gibson said in a recent trial, a family who used masks when feeling the onset of the flu reduced the spread to one another.
"Within 30 hours of onset of the flu individuals in the home who felt symptoms began to wear a mask...This really decreased spread with the family," said Dr. Gibson.
Dr. Gibson said if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet it is never too late.
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