Swine Flu Scare Leads Many Patients to the ER

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The flu test is a test most hope comes up negative. Midland Memorial Hospital says flu test kits are going fast.

"There's been quite a bit in ER visits. Mostly of people claiming to have flu like symptoms and body ache," Dr. Terry Beck said.

Midland Memorial Hospital had double the number in patients admitted in the ER in the past three days and doctors say the swine flu scare is to blame.

"We're using the expansion room to take care of everyone and avoid cross contamination. The important thing to understand is that every flu is tested the same way. Symptoms of the flu is body ache and hard cough," Dr. Beck said.

However, out of all the patients who were admitted into the ER over the weekend, doctors say only 40% of them actually tested positve for the common flu. Dr. Beck says coming to the ER when you're immune system isn't the strongest may not be the best thing.

"It's best if you have mild symptoms to stay home because you could be exposing yourself to sickness and other diseases," Dr. Beck said.

Some say they're not too concerned with catching the flu.

"Not at all. I make sure my kids have their regular doctor visits and shots. It happens, but I'm not really concerend," Resident Maria Hignojos, said.

Going to the ER for flu symptoms is the last thing on her mind.

"It's too many hours waiting in the ER and it costs money. It's something that I know I can possibly prevent," Hignojos said.
Dr. Beck says if you have any questions on whether or not you should go to the ER, call 68-NURSE; it's a free service that connects you with a nurse who will give you medical advice, and that's something that can save you time and money.