Flu numbers on record pace

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If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.

"We're getting a lot more people with positive flu tests, said Sarah Anderson, a physician assistant at Central Arkansas Urgent Care".

The current flu season is shaping up to be one of the most aggressive on record and emergency rooms across the country are overwhelmed.

Last week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of people with flu-like illnesses is continuing to climb and hospitalizations are nearing the level they were at during the 2009 season that featured the swine flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that influenza (flu) activity in the USA has increased significantly over recent weeks with influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominating so far this season. Antivirals are used to treat those at high-risk for flu complications - young children, the elderly, individuals with underlying medical conditions and women who are pregnant.

Flu can be very risky for children.

Ainsley Nelson, a spokesperson for Covenant Health, said flu numbers at Covenant are still trending up. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is not too late to get the flu vaccine.

So far, Yates said, the Flu A has been the dominant strain. The flu vaccine is safe and helps protect children from flu. "We're seeing more patients come in with questions or to be evaluated for possible flu symptoms". "Antiviral medications should be started early to have their best chance of helping". They also emphasize frequent hand washing with soap and water. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

"Adenovirus is a very common virus", said Dr.

If your child is 5 years and older without long-term health problems and gets flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, consult your doctor as needed.

If you or your child have these symptoms, it is important to get medical treatment right away.

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