“I have a pretty high immune system,” says Mary Eberstein, hoping to avoid the flu.
So far, so good. Mary Eberstein is doing what she can to avoid the flu.
“Part of it is always washing your hands, you know. I think that is huge - and staying away from people that are ill. Trying to eat as healthy as you can, a lot of fruits, vegetables,” says Eberstein.
While she shops the farmer’s market, crowds of others are destined for the doctor’s office. Lee Memorial Health System’s Convenient Care practice is in overdrive.
“From the volumes we’ve seen here, which has been increasing steadily over the past couple of weeks. We can see walking in here, 275 people, probably, in a day,” says Dr. Karen Calkins, emergency medicine physician with Lee Memorial Health System.
And that doesn’t begin to cover how many people are visiting local emergency rooms. Something that in many cases isn’t necessary. Unless you have severe symptoms or other illnesses, you should be able to get the help you need without going to a hospital. The most common flu symptoms are fever, aches, pains, sore throat and congestion.
“In general, we can handle those kinds of symptoms and try to unload the ER as far as patient volumes there,” says Dr. Calkins.
It’s a return of the H1N1 that is knocking many people for a loop. The area is seeing a spike in cases, and it could the worst is yet to come.
“It’s always hard to anticipate, but I think we’re still going to see a little incline again, probably before it starts to peak again, so certainly as far as getting the flu shots if you haven’t yet, it’s still a good thing to do,” says Dr. Calkins.
Once you get the flu shot, it takes up to two weeks for your body to build up antibodies. If you already have the flu- the best advice is to stay home, rest, and keep from spreading it.
“I’m usually pretty lucky,” says Eberstein.