by Jen Kastner
PERMIAN BASIN- The seasonal flu is hitting the nation hard this year, and it's no different here in the Basin. One Midland clinic says they're seeing more flu cases this year than all of the H1N1 cases they saw a few years ago.
Michael Austin with Midland Community Health Services says their clinics are filling up with mostly flu patients. Around the country, flu activity has picked up. Boston's Mayor declared a "state of emergency". A hospital in Pennsylvania has tents set up in the parking lot of their emergency room to treat the influx of flu patients. Here in the Lone Star State, we're far from immune.
"Texas is one of the hardest hit states, without a doubt," Austin said.
Midland Internist, Dr. Federico Ilang-Ilang, says, "I believe we're having an epidemic proportion of flu cases this season."
"The flu, this year, feels more like you've been hit by a truck," Austin said. "Fever, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, body aches and a poor appetite are common symptoms," Ilang-Ilang said.
Once administered, the flu vaccine generally only lasts for about three months. Meaning, you may have to get more than one shot this flu season. The peak of the flu season is coming up in February.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, you're encouraged to stay in bed and keep hydrated. Generally, a worsening fever running longer than three or four days signifies a need for medical treatment.