CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- This year health experts say the flu season hit earlier than usual and will likely last longer than expected. Emergency rooms in the Tennessee Valley are already feeling the pinch.
Officials at Park Ridge Medical Center say they've seen a 30 percent increase in the amount of flu cases. It's a similar story at Erlanger's Children's Hospital.
Pharmacies like Access Pharmacy in Hixson are fully stocked with Tamiflu to take on the coming flu season. "We have probably 20 boxes on the shelf almost every day," Pharmacist Jordan Morrison says.
"We are seeing more kids with the symptoms of flu," Dr. Tom Bruns says. To prevent spreading germs Bruns says not every child with flu like symptoms should end up in his ER.
"When you have the typical flu symptoms you can treat kids at home with Tylenol, ibuprofen, plenty of fluids," says Bruns. "If your child starts to get dehydrated, refuses to drink, starts to cough a lot with high fever, probably should bring your child to the emergency room."
Bruns admits the flu shot is not a 100 percent guarantee and may cause some to get mild flu symptoms but it's well worth the risk. He says everyone 6-months-old and above should get a flu shot but since the flu spreads fast awareness may be the best shield of protection.
"If people recognize that they have the flu and stay away from other people and not spread it or cover their mouth or if you know your child has flu symptoms, stay home, stay away from other people so they don't spread it then you kind of stop it," Bruns says.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:45 AM EDT2013-05-22 09:45:10 GMT
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