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Flu Cases Increase in Kaufman County
03/02/2009

KAUFMAN, Texas — Flu season has officially arrived in Kaufman County. Figures for the most recent week show Dallas and the surrounding areas at high status and severity, outpacing national signals.

The number of people with the flu has been increasing for the past month. Affected individuals come from across the age spectrum.

Individuals who visit the emergency room with the flu will be seen and diagnosed, but should be aware that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention antibiotics are not effective for treating viruses that cause colds and the flu. The CDC says that using antibiotics unnecessarily can cause bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic. Antiviral medication may shorten the duration of the flu, but antiviral medication must be taken within 12 to 24 hours of onset of symptoms.

“This year’s flu seems to be resistant to antiviral medication so the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Jeral Ahtone, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Kaufman. “Rest and fluids really help reduce the affects of the flu.”

According to the CDC, symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

“People who are unsure of whether they have the flu or strep throat should be seen, but individuals need to keep in mind that time and rest are the only treatments available after the first 24 hours of flu symptoms,” said Mark Sanders, R.N., emergency department director. “Remember, antibiotics don’t help the flu.”

The average length of time it takes between entering the Texas Health Kaufman emergency room and leaving after treatment is 124 minutes. That is significantly lower than the state average of 238 minutes. However, the wait time will fluctuate depending on the number of people waiting to be seen.

For more information on appropriate use of antibiotics, visit cdc.gov/getsmart.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman is a 91-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Kaufman and Henderson counties and the southern part of Dallas County since 1979. The hospital's services include women’s services, wound care, diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation and pain management services.

Texas Health Kaufman, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, was recently recognized with the Pathway to Excellence hospital designation for distinction in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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