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Flu outbreak keeping doctors busy

6:54 PM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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Wesley Chapel, Florida -- Centra Care Florida Hospital Urgent Care is a busy place these days; both with people wanting a flu vaccine and with those suffering from the flu.

"This has been one of the worst flu seasons in about 10 years. Just in the Central Florida area (we've had) about 700 cases which is up from about 590 cases back in 2009 when we had H1N1," said Kim Graham, the Assistant Director of Nursing for Centra Care Florida Hospital Urgent Care. 

But Centra Care is not alone. Across the state hospitals, doctor's offices and medical clinics are seeing a record number of people with the flu.

The outbreak, which has spread across much of the country, has caused a run on Tamiflu used to treat flu patients.

Medical experts say signs you should look for indicating you have the virus include a fever of 100 degrees or higher, body aches, a dry cough, chills and sweats, a headache, nasal congestion and fatigue or weakness.

But since the symptoms also mimic that of the common cold, doctors say be careful not to assume you'll be fine in just a few days if you start getting sick.

"If there's a fever, more likely think flu less than the cold. If its body aches and you just feel like you can't get out of bed that's more flu. If you have just a cough and runny nose that's more cold," said Dr. Nadeem Kahan, an Infectious Disease Specialist with Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.

So if there is any doubt experts say see a doctor.

Testing for the flu takes just minutes and getting treated within the first 48-hours can also cut your recovering time in more than half.

"It's pretty miserable when it puts you flat on your back for seven to 10 days, you're wishing you had either taken the flu shot to begin with or that you'd gotten into the doctor right away and gotten some medication to help alleviate and make it a little easier," Graham added.

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