The Flu Takes Over Utah
As we continue to battle the flu during this winter season, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently sent doctors alerts which advise them to use Tamiflu and other antivirals to help combat influenza. The CDC states that patients who are hospitalized or at high risk should be started on antivirals within 2 days of symptom onset. Patients at risk are very young children, the elderly, and anyone who has a decreased immune system. All of our local hospitalized currently have an abnormally high amount of patients with influenza. Sadly, we have seen fatalities already in Utah. The CDC reports that 95% of flu this year has been Influenza Type A, approximately half being the H3 subtype.
As of January 3, 2015, the Utah Department of Health reports 719 hospitalizations so far for the flu this season – 154 in just the past week. 54% of the patients were over 65 years old. The flu season usually lasts about 13 weeks. Not all patients require antiviral medications, but we do recommend that any patients who are at high risk and have symptoms of flu (dry cough, fever, muscle aches, joint pains, nausea), be seen by their primary care physician and be tested for the flu.
~ Dr. Dickson