ODESSA- Right now, we are in one of the peak months of the flu season and many are rushing to their doctors to get treated. Over at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, they are seeing an influx of patients with the flu.
"It spikes in the winter months so lately, this past month, we've been seeing a lot more cases," MCH Physician, Dr. Sudip Bose, said. "We have an increase of patients with the flu right now."
Dr. Bose said the virus has become so prevalent there's now overcrowding in his emergency department.
"Right now we are seeing overcrowding, and when the beds get filled up with flu cases, someone with something more serious, like a heart attack, or a stroke, or a stab wound, that patient may not get a bed. So I think it's important to reserve your trip to the emergency room for severe visits," Bose said.
The threat of the flu has even put a halt on communion practices in the catholic church. The San Angelo Catholic Diocese has even suspended the use of the communion cup.
Bishop Michael Pfeifer stated:"I make this prudential decision based on the fact of the high increase of the cases of flu at this time of the year. Also, as a health precaution, I recommend that we not offer the sign of peace with a handshake. It is best that the exchange of peace be given verbally and perhaps with a simple bow. Once the danger of transmitting the flu has lessened, I will restore the use of the communion cup."
The hospital is recommending for those who may have symptoms of the flu is to seek an urgent care clinic or your medical provider first to get treated.
"Not only it will be faster, the waits will be less and it'll be more cost effective, and also it will prevent overcrowding in the emergency department," Bose said.
MCH still has flu shots left and it's not too late to get it. But the shot does take a couple of weeks to work. If you have the flu: soup, rest and fluids is what doctors are recommending aside from stay home.
For clinic alternatives: http://www.medicalcenterhealthsystem.com/Emergency/Pages/Triage-Clinics.aspx