Winters are busy times for local hospitals because of the influx of winter visitors combined with flu season.
Dr. Rick Anderson, vice president and chief medical officer at TMC, said this year’s flu epidemic seems to be more widespread in Arizona, and the virus is proving to be especially nasty. “We’re seeing the H1N1 virus, which seems to affect younger patients,” he said.
“Respiratory issues are the biggest reason children are being admitted. Flu typically affects the very young and the very old, but this year’s strain is also infecting young adults to the point where their symptoms can’t be managed as an outpatient, and they have to be admitted to the hospital with respiratory issues. Some of these patients – in their 20’s and 30’s – have been admitted to the intensive care unit because of the severity of the virus. We’re also finding some patients being diagnosed with pneumonia on top of the flu.”
Flu symptoms and when to seek emergency care:
▪ Flu symptoms include: fever, body aches, headache and a cough.
▪ If you are young and healthy, but you are not short of breath, contact your primary care physician and do your best to manage your symptoms at home.
▪ If you don’t have a primary care physician, or you can’t get in to see yours, TMC One offers same-day appointments with TMC One providers, including Dr. William Abraham, a board-certified internal medicine physician with more than 30 years of experience. His office is located at 1396 N. Wilmot Road. Call (520) 324-2160 to make an appointment.
▪ Your doctor may prescribe you a medicine called Tamiflu. Doctors say it works well if it’s taken within 48-72 hours of coming down with the flu. While it won’t cure you, it will shorten the course of the virus.
▪ If your symptoms get worse or if you are having difficulty breathing, go to the emergency department.
What to know:
▪ While we are very busy, if you come to TMC, we will care for you. No one will ever be refused care.
▪ If you come to TMC, thank you for being patient. We know your time is valuable and you would not be at TMC if you were feeling well.
▪ TMC’s emergency department strives to make your visit as timely and efficient as possible.
▪ Finally, if you haven’t received the flu vaccine, it’s not too late to protect yourself. You can make an appointment at TMC One, conveniently located on the TMC campus, 2424 N. Wyatt Drive, #100. Valet parking is available.