Health officials: Flu 'widespread' across Texas

More people in San Antonio reporting flu or flu-like symptoms

Published On: Jan 30 2013 12:57:15 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 09:50:00 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

Flu season has started early, and is reportedly "widespread" in Texas. The virus has many in San Antonio seeking treatment.

Dr. Joseph Elizondo at the Texas MedClinic said Thursday he has seen an increase in the number of people coming in with flu and flu-like symptoms.

"There's people coming in with classic symptoms, fever, cough, congestion, body aches, and fever that is unrelenting," said Dr. Elizondo. "So, even though they are taking Motrin or Tylenol, the fever continues to come back."

Daniel Ramos, a patient at the clinic on Thursday, said getting sick was just a matter of time. He said his whole family has been sick and he started feeling sick too.

"I've been sick for about a week now," said Ramos. "It's just been getting worse. So, I just figured I would come to the clinic to see if they can give me something for it."

Elizondo said there has been about a 30 percent increase of patients with these symptoms from last week.
Elizondo said Thursday that part of the problem is that even people who received the flu vaccine last year are coming in now, testing positive for influenza.

"I think part of the problem that we are seeing is that the flu vaccine that we gave seems to have missed a little bit, if you will," said Elizondo. "And, we are seeing people who even had the flu vaccine, coming in with flu type symptoms."

Elizondo said he's advising everyone with these symptoms to alternate from Motrin to Tylenol and to keep extremely hydrated.

However, as far as Tamiflu, he said he is only recommending the drug to patients who are at increased risk.

"Anyone who has an immune-compromised state, individuals that are diabetic, individuals who are asthmatic, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," said Elizondo. "Those individuals usually require treatment with Tamiflu."

Elizondo said about 60 to 70 percent of his patients do not require Tamiflu.

Over the weekend, there were some shortages at several local pharmacies. However, as of Thursday, he said there didn't appear to be any shortages.

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