Flu Season is Here

The Flu Season Has Arrived

It’s that time of year again when the sniffling, coughing, and body aching of flu symptoms reappear.

While the common cold will make us miserable for a few days, the dangers associated with the influenza virus are a reason for concern to us all.  Check out the following tips that will come in handy to prevent the spread of influenza as well as knowing the warning signs of something more dangerous.

2018-2019 Flu Season by the Numbers

The CDC’s estimates for the last flu season, which span from October 1st, 2018 through May 4th, 2019, were more alarming than authorities initially estimated.

According to the CDC’s report:

  • Total flu cases ranged between 37.4 million to 42.9 million
  • There were 17.3 million to 20.1 million flu-related doctor visits
  • The flu resulted in 531,000 to 647,000 hospitalizations
  • Flu-related deaths were between 36,400 and 61,200

According to the latest report issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, between September 30th, 2018, and September 26th, 2019, there were a total of 10,020 flu-related deaths in our state.

What Can We Expect For This Year’s Flu Season?

Every year medical researchers try to reduce the severity of the flu season in attempting to forecast and track the flu virus. Efforts are also made to predict which strands of the virus will be more frequent and develop vaccines to target those viruses.

However, despite everyone’s best intentions, the influenza virus is unpredictable, which means nobody knows for sure how severe this flu season will be.

Therefore, the best we can do is to protect ourselves as best we can.

Tips To Help You Protect Yourself From the Influenza Virus

Your best defense against the flu will always be to get your flu shot every year. Every year a new vaccine is released to help protect against the strains of flu experts feel will be most likely to be circulating that season.

In some cases, the vaccine may not prevent you from getting sick with the flu, but it will help to reduce the severity of the illness.

Additionally to getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself by:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick. If you are the person who is ill, do everyone a favor and stay home
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces, especially those in high-traffic areas
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your system
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and active

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Risk Factors and Complications from the Flu

Over-the-counter medicines just treat symptoms. Prescription medication like Tami flu or Xofluza is only helpful if taken within 48 hrs. of first symptoms.  They are a good aid in addition to rest and taking in fluids.  An influenza virus left untreated may escalate into complications from the flu which can be dangerous.

Some people have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including:

  • Infants and small children
  • Pregnant Women
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system

Complications from the flu range from mild to life-threatening and include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation of the heart or brain
  • Inflammation of the muscles
  • Organ failure
  • Death

When to Go to the ER

Anyone who is a high-risk patient should contact their primary care doctor when they suspect they have the flu. Your doctor can monitor your symptoms and prescribe treatment to prevent complications.

Regardless of risk factor, anyone who develops the following symptoms should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment:

  • Persistent fever of 103°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Additionally, children should be brought to our pediatric emergency ward if they:

  • Are breathing fast or have trouble breathing without physical exertion
  • Have a fever with a rash
  • Their fingers, lips, or skin turns bluish
  • Are drinking minimal amount of liquid
  • Are unresponsive

Altus Emergency Centers are always ready to treat any medical emergency, including complications from the flu.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t delay, seek immediate treatment at any of our facilities.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Has the Flu Season 2019 Hit Yet?

Has the Flu Hit Yet?

It’s that time of year again when the sniffling, coughing, and body aching of flu symptoms reappear.

While the common cold will make us miserable for a few days, the dangers associated with the influenza virus are a reason for concern to us all.  With flu season 2019 potentially right at our doorstep, here are tips that will come in handy to prevent the spread of influenza as well as knowing the warning signs of something more dangerous.

2018-2019 Flu Season by the Numbers

The CDC’s estimates for the last flu season, which span from October 1st, 2018 through May 4th, 2019, were more alarming than authorities initially estimated.

According to the CDC’s report:

  • Total flu cases ranged between 37.4 million to 42.9 million
  • There were 17.3 million to 20.1 million flu-related doctor visits
  • The flu resulted in 531,000 to 647,000 hospitalizations
  • Flu-related deaths were between 36,400 and 61,200

According to the latest report issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, between September 30th, 2018, and September 26th, 2019, there were a total of 10,020 flu-related deaths in our state.

What Can We Expect For This Year’s Flu Season?

Every year medical researchers try to reduce the severity of the flu season in attempting to forecast and track the flu virus. Efforts are also made to predict which strands of the virus will be more frequent and develop vaccines to target those viruses.

However, despite everyone’s best intentions, the influenza virus is unpredictable, which means nobody knows for sure how severe this flu season will be.

Therefore, the best we can do is to protect ourselves as best we can.

Tips To Help You Protect Yourself From the Influenza Virus

Your best defense against the flu will always be to get your flu shot every year. Every year a new vaccine is released to help protect against the strains of flu experts feel will be most likely to be circulating that season.

In some cases, the vaccine may not prevent you from getting sick with the flu, but it will help to reduce the severity of the illness.

Additionally to getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself by:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick. If you are the person who is ill, do everyone a favor and stay home
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces, especially those in high-traffic areas
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your system
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and active

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Risk Factors and Complications from the Flu

Over-the-counter medicines just treat symptoms. Prescription medication like Tami flu or Xofluza is only helpful if taken within 48 hrs. of first symptoms.  They are a good aid in addition to rest and taking in fluids.  An influenza virus left untreated may escalate into complications from the flu which can be dangerous.

Some people have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including:

  • Infants and small children
  • Pregnant Women
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system

Complications from the flu range from mild to life-threatening and include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation of the heart or brain
  • Inflammation of the muscles
  • Organ failure
  • Death

When to Go to the ER

Anyone who is a high-risk patient should contact their primary care doctor when they suspect they have the flu. Your doctor can monitor your symptoms and prescribe treatment to prevent complications.

Regardless of risk factor, anyone who develops the following symptoms should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment:

  • Persistent fever of 103°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Additionally, children should be brought to our pediatric emergency ward if they:

  • Are breathing fast or have trouble breathing without physical exertion
  • Have a fever with a rash
  • Their fingers, lips, or skin turns bluish
  • Are drinking minimal amount of liquid
  • Are unresponsive

Altus Emergency Centers are always ready to treat any medical emergency, including complications from the flu.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t delay, seek immediate treatment at any of our facilities.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

Is the Flu Season Going to Get Better or Worse?

The CDC numbers are alarming, and they could get worse.

According to the CDC, the current flu shot is approximately 47% effective.

This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective overall in preventing an infection.

At the start of the flu season, the most widespread strain of the virus was Influenza A H1N1, but in the last few weeks a more severe strain, Influenza A H3N2 began to circulate, and it’s now responsible for nearly half of the reported cases according to the CDC.

The Texas Health and Human Services also issues a weekly surveillance report which shows the influenza activity in the state is still very high, even though there was a slight decrease in positive test results for influenza this past week.

Sadly, the report also shows two children in Texas died from the flu in the last few weeks.  The first being, the little girl from Garland, Texas Ashanti Grinage, who passed away of pneumonia from flu complications.  She was only four years old. The second, eight-year-old Martin Campbell from Rockport, Texas also was taken too soon hours after having been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.

Please take the time to get to understand the dangers of the complications from the flu or flu-like symptoms. Most importantly, we recommend to know the signs of alert and follow your gut instinct.

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018-2019 flu season is still widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The report estimates that between October 1st, 2018, and February 16th, 2019 there have been

  • 17.7 million to 20.4 million flu illnesses
  • 214,000 to 256,000 flu hospitalizations
  • 13,600 to 22,300 flu-related deaths
  • 41 reported pediatric deaths, seven of those were reported in the week ending on February 16th

When it Comes to Your Kids Trust Your “Parental Sixth Sense”

When children get sick, they can’t always communicate how they feel or explain their symptoms well.

Therefore, you should always follow your instinct; nobody knows your child better than you, so if you notice something strange, or you feel your child’s symptoms are something more than just a cold or a mild case of the flu, it’s time to get a doctor involved.

Children are more vulnerable and more likely to develop severe complications of the flu some of which can be life-threatening.

Possible complications from the flu include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Inflammation of the muscle tissue (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
  • Multi-organ failure such as respiratory and kidney failure

If your child has an infection and it is not treated promptly or adequately, it could lead to sepsis, which is the body’s extreme life-threatening response to infection.

Altus Emergency Centers can be a lifesaver in situations where a child’s life is at stake, our guarantee no wait times means your child will be seen by a doctor the minute you walk through our doors.

How to Tell If You Have a Cold or the Flu

The common cold and the flu share some symptoms, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference, especially if you are feeling miserable.

If you suspect you may have the flu, you are welcome to come to Altus Emergency Centers to get tested. 

We are open 24/7 and you will not have to wait in line to receive ER care.

 

Symptoms


Cold


Influenza or Flu


FeverRare in AdultsUsual
HeadacheRareCommon
Body AchesMildSevere
Tiredness or WeaknessSometimesYes, and can last up to 3 weeks
Extreme ExhaustionRareUsual During the First Days
Nasal CongestionVery CommonSometimes
SneezingUsualSometimes
Sore ThroatCommonSometimes
Chest Discomfort – CoughMild to Moderate coughCommon, Can Become Severe
Nausea and VomitingRareCommon in Children
Chills and SweatsRareCommon

 

As a rule, you should know that Influenza tends to be much more severe than a cold, and for children, the elderly or anyone who has a weak immune system it is more likely to lead to other serious health problems like pneumonia.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

The is no foolproof way to stop from getting the flu; however, some things that can help lower our risk of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap often
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
  • Keep your distance from people you know are sick
  • Take an immune booster
  • Drink bone-broth, studies show that it is incredibly beneficial for your immune system
  • Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Exercise
  • Consider getting vaccinated against the flu, this won’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but in some cases, it can help lower the severity of the symptoms.

When to Get Emergency Medical Help

Knowing when to come to the ER can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and elderly patients.

Come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if:

  • Your child is vomiting or has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • If you or your child have trouble breathing or if you notice the lips turning blue
  • If the patient is unresponsive
  • You have a fever that has lasted more than 3-days
  • Persistent cough, especially one that comes with phlegm  
  • You develop chest pain
  • You have severe throat pain, this could be a sign of strep throat

All Altus Emergency Centers are prepared to treat any severe symptom or complication of the flu. While feeling under the weather is just part of the process, if you notice any unusual symptoms or if your symptoms rapidly become worse, please come in for an evaluation it could end up saving your life or that of a loved one.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

If like many American’s you thought this would be a mild flu season, think again! Even though this year’s flu season got off to a slow start, it is quickly picking up strength. The influenza season officially began on September 30, 2018, and historically peaks January through February. According to a report by the Texas Health and Human Services, the number of positive flu tests rose by 5.5% in just one week, and the number of flu cases rose to widespread and has remained this way ever since. 

Left untreated, the flu takes lives.  The last flu season took nearly 10,000 lives according to according to state health officials.  This season, new flu-related deaths have also begun to surge.  Sadly enough, children and senior citizens are at greater risk.  This flu season 2018-2019 has also claimed it’s first pediatric victims.  Recently, USA Today ran an article on a little Garland, Texas Girl.  Ashanti Grinage, age 4, was taken to a hospital emergency room hospital with a fever and a persistent cough among other symptoms on January 29, 2018.  She diagnosed with the flu and two days later, little Ashanti passed away due to pneumonia.  She had not gotten a flu shot. This is the first pediatric case in North Texas.  At Altus Emergency we would like to shed light on the flu symptom and complications subject to help prevent the loss of lives due to flu-related complications.

Ashanti Brielle Grinage (right) and her family - Image Source: New York Post

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year’s flu was one of the worst on record in the US with:

  • 80,000 deaths from influenza and its complications
  • 900,000 American’s had to be hospitalized due to flu symptoms or complications from the flu virus

The following are the most up to date statistical data by the Texas Health & Human Services on Texas flu season 1018-2019.

Texas influenza map week 5 - 2019
texas flu related deaths 2018-2019 week 5

Fight the Spread of Texas Flu Season 2018-2019 Complications

Flu Strains

There are many strains of the two types of flu viruses, A and B, that infect humans. However, flu viruses are continually changing, and there are always new strains of influenza developing around the world, for this reason, every year vaccines are manufactured to protect against the top three or four virus strains that researchers believe will be the most common.

The most common and devastating virus strain from last year’s flu season was related to the H3N2 virus which is known to cause more severe complications, and the vaccine doesn’t work as well against it.

Although we are still very early in the season, it is believed that a different flu virus known as H1N1 could be dominant this year.

What Else Is Lurking Out There?

In addition, this year the CDC has warned against a cold-like illness that affects anyone. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), acts as the cold virus but, it could also make it hard to breathe. This virus is a concern for babies and the elderly. Doctors believe the Syncytial virus season will peak during January and February.

RSV is the common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in America. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.

Symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Signs of RSV infection usually include:

  • A runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

You should know that these symptoms won’t all appear at the same time; instead they will develop in stages. If you spot these symptoms in an elderly person, please bring them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so they can be evaluated and treated.

Symptoms in very young infants will be different and may only include:

  • Irritability,
  • Decreased Activity, and
  • Breathing Difficulties.

If your baby is showing any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical assistance to prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing severe complications.

When Should You Come to The ER For Flu Symptoms?

Flu symptoms need to be treated early on, you should start on antiviral medications like Tamiflu within 24 to 48 hours after the first signs of symptoms.  While flu symptom treatment is not a reason to visit the emergency room, certain complications from the flu, if not treated promply can be a serious health hazzard and possibly life threatening condition.

If you or someone you are caring for experiences any of these symptoms seek emergency medical attention right away:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Confusion
  • Sudden Dizziness
  • Severe Vomiting or Vomiting That Won’t Stop

Signs of a Flu-Related Medical Emergency in Children

If your child has been infected with the influenza virus (flu virus), and they experience any of the following symptoms, a visit to the nearest Altus Emergency Center is warranted:

  • Rapid Breathing or Difficulty Breathing
  • Bluish Color to the Skin, especially on the face or chest
  • Not Drinking Enough Fluids, which could lead to dehydration
  • Difficult or Unable to Wake Up or Interact with Others
  • Severe Irritability: Child does not want to be held
  • Stiff Neck
  • Rash
  • A severe headache that doesn’t improve after taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen)

In addition to the symptoms above, if you have an infant with the flu and she experiences any of the following symptoms, bring them to our emergency room.

  • Fever (over 100.3) and is under 3 months old
  • Unable to Eat
  • No Tears When Crying
  • Fewer Wet Diapers Than Normal

As mentioned before, experts don’t believe this flu season will be as devastating as last year’s, but, nonetheless, the influenza virus is dangerous, and it should be treated accordingly. This flu season, all Altus Emergency Centers will be monitoring the progress and changes of virus strains and symptoms to ensure we are fully equipped to treat all symptoms and help nurse you back to health.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

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