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


Fever Rare in Adults Usual
Headache Rare Common
Body Aches Mild Severe
Tiredness or Weakness Sometimes Yes, and can last up to 3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Rare Usual During the First Days
Nasal Congestion Very Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort – Cough Mild to Moderate cough Common, Can Become Severe
Nausea and Vomiting Rare Common in Children
Chills and Sweats Rare Common

 

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!

American Heart Month – Guide to a Healthy Heart

Today is the Day to Learn to Love Your Heart!

This Valentine’s Month, it’s all about the heart!  Many of us are planning the perfect date night to show our partners just how important they are to us and how much we love them.  Altus Emergency Centers wants you to pause and pay a little more attention to all of the beautiful hearts in your life, starting with your own.

This year we are partnering with the Million Hearts® initiative to bring awareness of how dangerous and devastating heart disease can be, not just on a personal level but for those we love as well.  May this be the February that you learned to love your heart.

Heart Disease Fact Sheet

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill over 800,000 Americans every year
  • Heart Disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths
  • Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States

Every 40 Seconds, an American will have a Heart Attack.

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, and it’s responsible for over 370,000 annual deaths
  • Every year more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack
  • According to studies:

Nearly Two-Thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Sources: CDC & Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018

We all glance over numbers every day like these every day.  Instead of a number, see them for what they really are, a mother, father, teacher, co-worker, best friend, classmate, neighbor, grandma, or the person standing right beside you.  At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re committed to helping you not become a statistic.  Chances are, you are still in time to make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep a healthy heart pumping for much longer.

Heart Disease Death Rates Statistics USA

Safeguarding Your Heart

We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives, but, as hard as heartbreak can be, we know that in time we will get better and be able to love again. This is not always the case when our hearts get sick, some of us won’t have the luxury of time to heal, which is why we need to start taking better care of our hearts now.

You are always taking care of everyone around you, this month of February make a pledge to start showing yourself some love by making healthier lifestyle and food choices including:

Improve Your Diet

Eat healthier, include more fruits and veggies, choose low-fat dairy products and cut down on the amount of fat you eat.

Fill Up on Fiber

Choose foods that are fiber-rich like oats, whole wheat bread, and beans and legumes. Fiber-rich foods will fill you up more, and they take longer for your digestive system to process, so you will fell fool for a longer time. This will help you eat less and maybe lose a few pounds without having to sacrifice your food intake.

Eat More Fish

Texans love meat, we get it, but try substituting beef for fish at least once or twice a week, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off heart disease.

Get Moving!

Just like the song says you’ve got to move it, move it. We know you have a busy schedule but only 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a world of difference. You don’t need to go to the gym, a walk around your neighborhood, or some fun dancing around the house or even putting a little more pep into your housework might do the trick.

Cut Down on The Salt

The American diet has an unusually high amount of salt, and a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that cutting the amount of salt we consume can significantly lower the number of strokes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart attacks.

Live Smoke-Free!

Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, and it’s not enough to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, you need to stop smoking altogether.

Recognizing a Heart Attack

The possibility of a heart attack is real.  Heart disease is the leading cause of both men and women in the US.  Although medical studies have shown that you can drastically lower your possibility of having a heart attack through lifestyle changes, the odds are still 1 of every 4 people in America die from heart disease.  For this reason, another way to help save hearts is to get to know the signs of a heart attack and to take action.  While men and women will have different types of symptoms and not all chest pains indicate a heart attack, there are some tell-tale signs that should spark an immediate warning sign.

Here are five of the most common signs of a heart attack:

  • Pain or Discomfort in Chest

  • Lightheadedness, Nausea or Vomiting

  • Jaw, Neck or Back Pain

  • Discomfort or Pain in Jaw or Shoulder

  • Shortness of Breath

Time is a major factor, the sooner the better.

The recommended window of time to get treatment for a heart attack is of only two hours away from the first signs as those listed above.  If you risk waiting longer, the damage will be greater as the chances of survival will be lowered.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms listed here, the best thing you can do is have someone bring you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so we can evaluate you. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, the faster you get treatment, the greater your chances of recovery and survival will be.

It’s been said that the greatest gift we can give anyone is love, so this Valentine’s Day make a pledge to take better care of your heart so you can be around for many more years to gift love to your friends and family.

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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