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Flu cases on the rise in Southwest Virgnina

By Jean Jadhon, jjadhon@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 07:00:47 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 07:06:17 PM EST

A few weeks ago, local ERs weren't seeing very many patients. Now, it's a different story.

SALEM, Va -

Flu cases are starting to spike around the nation and here at home it's no different.

At LewisGale Regional Medical Center in Salem Nurse Practitioner Andrew Galvin sees first hand the cases that come in.  A few weeks ago they weren't seeing any patients with the flu in the Emergency room. Now it's a different story.

"Probably four to five a day," Galvin said.  There are some typical signs that go along with the flu. "Typically it's a very rapid onset. They go to bed feeling normal. They wake up feeling horrible," Galvin said. 

Other flu symptoms include a fever over 100 although not everyone with the flu has a fever, according to the Flu.gov website.   Body aches, a cough and/or a  sore throat, chills and nausea are also symptoms.

Most healthy people can recover at home with rest and a lot of fluids, but for others it's a good idea to go to the hospital or see their doctor, Galvin said. "We can start the flu medicine and get treatment an in some cases admit you if need be."

Each flu case at the hospital is sent to the state where numbers are tracked.

"We get a rapid flu swab that tells you A or B. Most of the A's
according to the state thus far have been H1N1 strain," Galvin said.

"It can cause a pretty nasty illness," Galvin said.

Getting the flu shot is recommended now for everyone over 6 months of age.  The shot offers some protection almost immediately and fully kicks in after about two weeks.  This year the flu shot supply is good.