Flu Victims Head To Middle Georgia Emergency Rooms
With influenza spreading across the country some emergency rooms in Middle Georgia are seeing an influx of patients.
"It's rough. I had to have breathing treatments," Ann Cole said.
Cole, 47, is just one of many people battling the flu in Georgia this year. She got over the bug last week but is with her sister at the Medical Center of Central Georgia visiting her brother-in-law who contracted it in the hospital after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. Cole and her sister Peggy Hodge said when they visit him; they notice warnings on the hospital walls telling people to wear masks and gloves before entering flu patient’s rooms
"The whole fifth floor and sixth floor, both had just about quarantined off with the flu” Hodge said. “There were signs all the way down through the corridor. The ones that had the flu, kept their doors shut and you had to put your mask on."
The sisters said it’s not just at the Medical Center, they’ve notice other hospitals in the region experiencing a flood of people.
"Bleckley County, the hospital over there is full,” Hodge said. “Eastman. A lot of people and a lot of my friends from over there they said the hospital over there is full
Staff at the Coliseum Medical Center said they've had to admit people into the hospital because of the flu which they don't normally do. They also said more than 100 people have come into the emergency room since September for flu like symptoms. That's a lot more than last year when they wrote less than 20 prescriptions for flu patients. Houston Medical Center started to have people come into the emergency room towards the end of August and have also admitted people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an antiviral medication like Tamiflu for people starting to feel flu like symptoms.
In the case of Cole who did not get her flu vaccination this year, she said other people may want to get it before it's too late.
"I was scared but maybe I should've,” Cole said.
Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said he hasn't dealt with a flu related death so far this year. Hospitals said if people can, they should visit a physician or a medical stop before coming to the emergency room if they have flu like symptoms