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PHOENIX -- (Jan. 12, 2018) – As communities struggle through one of the most serious flu season in years, Banner Health care providers offer tips on how to avoid the flu and what to do in case you get influenza.
In Arizona, there have been a total of 10,400 more laboratory-confirmed influenza cases to date this season compared to last season, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“This has been a very active, very aggressive flu season,’’ said Carlos Ventura, MD, an internist and geriatrician at Banner Health Center in Verrado. “That’s why we are doing so much around prevention and vaccination.’’
Ready-to-download video of Dr Ventura available in English and Spanish
Banner Health is recommending that if you or a family member needs care for flu-like symptoms, you should reach out to your primary care physician and urgent care providers. Most flu symptoms can be managed in these care settings without visiting an emergency room. If you need emergency-level care, be prepared that Emergency departments are extremely busy.
Staff in doctors’ offices and urgent-care clinics can review your symptoms, prescribe antivirals when appropriate, and make suggestions for care at home. But the treatment should not include antibiotics, Ventura said.
“Antibiotics are not recommended (for the flu) and it is very common misconception. I have patients who get mad at me (for not giving them antibiotics),’’ he said.
Flu shots, which remain your best defense against this year’s flu, are still available at many locations throughout the Valley, including Banner Urgent Care clinics.
All of Ventura’s comments available via video or audio downloads both in English and Spanish.