The Flu: What You Need To Know

Dr. Keith Ramsey of Pitt County Memorial Hospital and ECU's Brody School of Medicine discussed the major issues about the flu on WITN News at Sunrise Wednesday.

Dr. Ramsey said the vaccine for the swine flu is now available in Pitt County, but only to the groups who need it most. He said the Pitt County Health Department was expecting to get its first shipment of the H1N1 virus vaccine shot Wednesday. The nasal version arrived last week.

Dr. Ramsey said several of the typical flu symptoms are present with H1N1. However, one key indicator appears to be shortness of breath. This could prompt an asthma attack in children with asthma.

Since the flu is becoming so widespread in Pitt County, Dr. Ramsey said a flu care clinic will be opened Monday, October 19 in Doctor's Park in Greenville. That clinic is expected to stop the number of people flooding the urgent care clinics and the hospital's emergency department.

Dr. Ramsey also urged employers not to require their employees to get a note from a doctor to return to work from illness. He said that, too, is jamming doctor's offices. Ramsey noted that people in the health care industry should get a doctor's clearance before returning to work.

People with questions about the seasonal and the swine flu can ask an expert panel for answers Thursday. The flu summit is taking place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Commissioners’ Auditorium at 1717 W. 5th St. in Greenville. WITN's Lynnette Taylor will moderate the summit.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2009 at 04:17 AM
    H1N1 shot free from 9-5 at health dept today. My whole problem with this is the lack of data to substantiate NOT treating children under 18 for the flu. I feel the data proves the effectiveness of treatment in preventing possible severe complications and decreasing severity of disease though not making a huge impact on duration in many patients. These children who are dying - were they treated with tamiflu, or told oh well,not high risk, no treatment??? I understand the public get ridiculous as a group in some health news situations, but in this case, I don't believe the government made the guidelines with the wellbeing of children as much as with their own political agenda because they screwed up in estimating the breadth of the epidemic and are thus rightly worried about the stores of tamiflu/relenza and thus reserving it for late treatment of very ill and early treatment of high risk patients only. Where is clinical judgement and doing the right thing for the patient in front of u.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 14, 2009 at 06:13 AM
    I think it was as important for the hospital to acquire the vaccine before the mist. Most of us in patient care settings cannot get the mist and have remained vulnerable. ALso, it is not true that Tamamflu doesn't help with symptomes, it certainly does. Shamefully it has not been given to our sick children who have missed weeks of school due to prolonged symptoms. The CDC has changed it's guidelines numerous times in dealing with this according to what I've read on the website and hasn't had sufficient time to determine if it helped or not. Considering the 50% failure rate of the test it is seriously worrying that it didn't matter if kids suffered with this when it could have been prevented by earlier vaccinations and Tamiflu treatment. Do you really think I want this government in control of my health care?????
  • by anyman Location: washington on Oct 14, 2009 at 05:57 AM
    my 12 year old daughter went to gville peds friday. doc said she probably had H1N1, but they didn't test her. said they couldn't do anything for her anyway
  • by Luci Location: NC on Oct 14, 2009 at 05:12 AM
    Come on now, it's just the flu...this is what makes people flock to our local ERs thinking they are going to die of the swine flu.

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