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(Jan. 3, 2018) -- In what is shaping up to be a severe flu season, Banner Health is strongly recommending people with flu-like symptoms first seek care at urgent-care centers.
Banner has facilities in six states and four of those (Arizona, California, Nebraska and Nevada) are experiencing high numbers of influenza-like illnesses, according to the CDC.
In Arizona, there is an almost an 800-percent increase in the number of reported flu cases compared to this period a year ago. During the past two flu seasons, Arizona did not reach widespread activity until February.
In Colorado, which the CDC says has a moderate level of flu activity, the number of people hospitalized for influenza is eight times the number who were hospitalized during last year’s entire flu season.
In a video that can be edited for media use, Robert Rohatsch, MD, CEO of Banner Urgent Care and Occupational Health, covers a wide range of flu topics including:
Emergency departments across the country, including Banner’s, are experiencing very high patient volumes. In many cases, these patients can be seen more quickly at urgent cares or by their physicians.
Despite earlier reports, this year’s flu vaccine appears to be effective. Supplies of the vaccine are still available. It is not too late to get a flu shot.
The tried-and-true flu treatments still remain the best bet for a suffering patient: rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Rohatsch’s video can be downloaded for editing. For other flu-related questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.