Wednesday, February 27 2013, 05:45 PM CST
Surge in flu cases in Southeast Texas
BEAUMONT - by ASHLEY GASTON - Doctors’ offices are seeing a surge in flu cases.
One Beaumont doctor tells KFDM news he's performing check-ups on at least 40 patients a day with flu-like symptoms.
Texas is one of 29 states reporting high levels of influenza-like-illness.
The flu vaccine is the cheapest way to prevent the flu from spreading and becoming an epidemic.
Ashley Gaston explains.
It’s a visit to the pharmacy more and more people are making.
Not for prescription medication, but a shot.
I heard about the strain, real bad strain of flu. I'm getting up in age and I want to be protected,” said Roy Kirkland.
Roy Kirkland says the flu vaccine helps ease his mind.
He knows what the bug can do.
Kirkland got the flu three years ago and didn't get better for a couple of weeks.
“I was miserable, sneezing, red eyes, the whole nine yards. It's not worth going through if you can prevent it,” said Kirkland.
Greg Hamby at King's Pharmacy says if you don't get the vaccine. You could spend at least $60 to treat the flu.
At a minimum you will see at least four prescriptions going along with a single case of the flu and that's a minimum,” said Hamby.
Most doctors prescribe Tamiflu, antibiotics, a steroid, and cough medicine.
This doctor is treating at least 40 people a day with flu like symptoms.
“The numbers are tremendously high, they develop pneumonia, staph infections, a lot of complications from the flu itself,” said Dr. Waquar Ahmad.
The doctor says the vaccine might prevent 'you' from getting the flu and possibly spreading it to others.
“It is not worth going through if you can prevent it,” said Kirkland.
Prevention that takes two weeks to kick in after the shot, but can help you avoid a flu season's worth of agony.
Doctors say it's important to keep your hands clean by washing often or using hand sanitizer.
Doctors also say if you sneeze or cough into a tissue...be sure to throw it away immediately so the germs don't spread.