Flu-like symptoms: When should you go to the hospital?
Dr. Richard Firshein weighs in
- Duration 8:02
- Date Jan 9, 2013
Dr. Richard Firshein weighs in
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This transcript is automatically generated
Fox News alert and a growing number of hospitals reporting that they are having to turn patients away.
As the number of flu cases in the country reaches -- near record levels.
Brand new hour here of America live welcome everyone I'm Megyn Kelly.
It's a story playing out in virtually every city and town across America with Boston today declaring a public health emergency.
All fifty states are affected and at least 41 states have a widespread outbreak on their hands.
In Arizona teachers are being vigilant wiping down tables and chairs and making sure children wash their hands and frequently.
If you think about it hit -- -- absolutely -- All day long we wash hands after every activity that that's way to prevent the spread of any sort of -- -- mystery.
In Virginia hospital emergency rooms are much busier than usual doctors and nurses just struggling to keep up with the sheer number of patients.
More crowded in each -- -- So if you think he gets -- of the significant around.
And even more situation a serious situation down in Texas where doctors are seeing a shortage of the vaccine.
As people who did not get vaccinated earlier are just now realizing.
How dangerous this flu strain -- What we're.
Doing right now that there's not a vaccine shortage nationally it's just a low inventory the cause you try to get as many people fascinated.
Before the holiday period.
In Illinois and we are hearing at least seven different hospitals and emergency rooms are having to turn patients away.
And send in -- -- to other hospitals because they're simply isn't any more room given the overflow already.
A flu patients.
Steve Brown joins us live from Chicago with more Steve.
Yeah on Monday we had eleven different hospitals in Illinois may get put on -- which essentially means that all non emergency cases need for a period of time.
Not to go to this particular hospital and ambulance companies and -- -- alerted that.
Those those bypass periods lasted between four and twelve hours each but this -- -- -- sort of situation that happens.
About fourteen times a year generally speaking to hospitals but -- -- awful lot of them all at once now a lot of that is attributed to the blue.
Does that mean that if someone has the flu cough cold even a bad case of it that they should go to the ER or -- check themselves in at a hospital.
No say doctors unless it's couple.
With something else.
The best thing is united to -- -- those that you know are young and healthy not having other symptoms you know not having any.
-- difficulties are not getting dehydrated -- results of you know probably being -- controlled light -- -- those things best things really treat yourself -- aggressive hydration and rest.
Now the largest concentration of flu cases right now according to the Centers for Disease Control is here in the midwest.
The good news is is that a flu shot should protect you we -- told by helped -- fit help.
Experts here at the -- at rush hospital here in Chicago that it's a very good vaccine it does cover the variants of the H three N two flu.
Which seems to be quite so common in and around the country today so if you haven't gotten a flu shot even though the flu seasons under way doctors urge that you get one.
-- -- -- All right Steve Brown thank you.
With such an overflow of cases hospitals are setting up triage cases outside of the hospitals in some situations.
And some are running short of supplies but these -- some hospitals and is set up.
So when should you take your flu symptoms to the hospital and when should you just stay home under the covers crying in your soup.
Doctor Richard first -- is an author and director of the first on Centre for comprehensive medicine first -- let me ask you why isn't so bad this year.
Well this year that it was actually hit about five weeks earlier.
-- it did last year this flu strain is very similar type of strain that we had nineteen in in actually 2000 in 2003.
We're 40000 people died since the very very serious.
Situation that we're dealing with right now and what doctors -- And individuals who.
Haven't had their vaccines.
Are good number and I'm glad they went and they've faced -- -- -- I'm happy.
What about -- two days ago on this program doctor Marc Siegel is here and then scolded me for not having a flu shot and then he gave me one live on the air.
He said here's video that he said that the peak of the flu season will probably be in three weeks and so they haven't yet gotten your flu shot.
Now's the time.
-- it takes about three weeks words a vaccine.
To reach peak communities so it for those individuals who haven't had there flu vaccine at this point.
There's still chance for them to go and get a flu shot.
Now for those individuals who actually are coming down -- the flu it's also important understand there are medications that you can take.
There -- two medications currently on the market one is called Tamiflu the other relents.
And if the flu this -- is -- the symptoms are identified within 48 hours those medications are administered.
The flu symptoms can be dramatically reduced what.
What -- You know words what caution do you have for parents out there because we've had eighteen pediatric deaths.
Deaths of children this flu season alone they say of all these people have been thousands who've been admitted to the hospital 2000 just last week.
Have been seniors 13%.
Have been those between zero and four years old.
-- so for parents that are concerned and -- obviously there are some very serious warning signs of your children are.
Not responsive if there is persistent vomiting.
If there are problems such as high fever -- those are the individuals that need to be taken -- -- directly to the emergency room -- by their doctor contact -- doctor right away.
In instances where there are those concerns even.
Children who are very very young age six weeks those individuals can receive Tamiflu so there's still an opportunity to treat them as well.
Is there any controversy with the flu shots because you know a lot of people believe anecdotally that the flu shot gives you the flu.
Or that it makes you sick in fact it's been interesting to me since I got that flu shot in the air on Monday so many people caught me and said.
How are you feeling hasn't -- they'll finally be and they say oh don't eat you know usually you feel sick the first twenty -- -- do you flu shot but -- -- up to 25% of people who do get the flu shot can have mild symptoms that are side effects of getting the flu shot.
There is no chance of getting the flu from a vaccine.
In fact that the vaccine contains a dead virus that is a virus that cannot perpetuate -- cause the flu.
And there are some individuals who do you actually have allergies to the one of the medium that the the the -- of the flu vaccine.
Created in is made from bags and those individuals that have a problem with -- or have -- -- -- -- should not get the flu shot and -- it's actually actually -- -- -- One other question for laid out.
Then there's a lot of flu virus that you can get to -- that the -- sniff up your nose yeah that's so -- -- yes now flu mist is a live vaccine.
However this particular vaccine they take out all the components of that can actually make it.
To another person so there's no chance of actually getting the flu.
From getting a vaccine if it's injected -- events and help highs and that's a -- don't worry about getting the flu from the flu shot well thankfully I was in the senate at present I feel fine.
I was a little sore but I will coming out -- announces things is very important that people take those precautions that we were talking about earlier.
-- you know use -- solutions sanitizing solutions 60% alcohol make sure you washing hands frequently.
Stay away from individuals that actually have the flu -- Would stay away from areas where there's a high concentration of people if you're concerned now and as a second most there's in the country there's no shortage of the vaccine -- -- just absolutely can do it.
I -- thank you thank you so much.