ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–As the number of flu patients in our state continues to increase, it’s overwhelming the emergency rooms of local hospitals like Onslow Memorial.
Staff there has already administered twice the average number of flu tests for January as they did last year, and it’s not even peak flu season yet.
“We definitely expect it to get worse,” Gloria Powers, R.N. and infection prevention manager, said. March is typically the peak month at the hospital. But Tuesday, patients experiencing flu-like symptoms filled the emergency department.
Four percent of all admitted patients at the hospital are dealing with the flu and other respiratory illnesses.
“This is the time of year we usually do see an influx of patients but we’re seeing extremely high numbers this year,” Monica Risner, R.N., said. “A lot of it is flu-related illness but it seems to be people with chronic illnesses that are complicated with the flu.”
You’re asked to self-treat at home if possible using fever reducers and by drinking plenty of fluids. Powers also advises washing your hands regularly and covering your cough.