Hospital emergency rooms are being inundated during this flu season and are having to add extra staff and resources to handle the cases.
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourage patients to call their health care providers if they are concerned about an illness and to carefully assess symptoms.
Individuals who think they may have the flu should follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for when to go to the hospital.
As stated on the CDC website, flu symptoms in adults that warrant an emergency room visit include trouble breathing, chest pain, and persistent vomiting.
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Those who do not have the flu, but go to the ER, risk catching it from those who do. However, anyone who is concerned about a serious or life-threatening illness should go to the ER.
The CDC says symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu.
▪ Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly while with a cold they are gradual.
▪ The flu usually brings fever while a cold does not.
▪ Aches are common with the flu but are slight with a cold.
▪ Chills are common with the flu but not with a cold.
▪ Fatigue is common with the flu but not with a cold.
▪ Sometimes there is sneezing with the flu but it is common with a cold. The same is true with stuffy nose and sore throat.
▪ Chest discomfort and cought are common with the flu but are only mild with a cold.
▪ Headache is common with the flu but rare with a cold.
“Hospitals are working diligently to make sure each patient receives timely and efficient care,” said GHA President Earl Rogers. “The health and safety of all patients is a priority for hospitals. Hospitals have made modifications such as changing visiting hours, implementing the use of mobile units, and providing additional staff to protect those patients at greatest risk of the flu.”
GHA is working closely with state agencies to monitor and develop strategies to combat the flu epidemic. For more information about what are hospitals are doing, visit gha.org/flu.