Flu Patients Flock to the ER

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Patients have been flooding the Camden Clark Medical Center emergency room for symptoms of the flu.

Hospital officials say it's a better idea to call your personal doctor for advice on how to care for yourself at home.

They say the flu can't be treated with antibiotics but many people think it requires a trip to the ER.

Also, spending time there only puts you at risk and takes doctors away from patients who really need emergency care.

"Flu season is hitting this time of year. It does seem to be the pattern that we get a large number of patients in a short period of time," says medical director, Dr. Anthony Kitchen. "It will spread very quickly initially because no one has been infected, as of yet. This will generate a lot of emergency department and primary care visits."

Dr. Kitchen says only people having shortness of breath or at high risk for complications of the flu, including kids younger than five, adults older than 65 and those with with chronic disease should go to the ER.

Otherwise, you are exposing yourself unnecessarily to the virus that causes the flu.

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