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.