Tuesday, January 21, 2014

FastMed Urgent Care reports increase in flu cases

FastMed Urgent Care, the largest urgent care organization in North Carolina, reports a dramatic uptick in patient volume associated with the flu and flu related illness. FastMed encourages residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to get the flu vaccine, which is still available at all 38 FastMed locations throughout the state.

FastMed also recommends a rapid nasal swab flu test for those who suspect they have the flu. This noninvasive nasal swab can be done at any FastMed Urgent Care, takes 15 minutes to process and if positive allows FastMed health care providers to prescribe the correct and immediate treatment, speed recovery and reduce the spread of the flu outbreak.

North Carolina State health officials report the death toll from the seasonal flu outbreak has risen to 21 individuals, 19 of those being very young and middle aged adults who also had underlying medical conditions. There have been significant increases in flu activity nationwide, according to the January 10 report from the CDC, with 35 states including North Carolina reporting widespread flu activity. That’s up from 25 states the previous week.

“In the past few of weeks, we have begun to see a significant increase in the number of lab-confirmed influenza cases, mainly influenza A (H1N1) at FastMed clinics across our state, specifically the Raleigh-Durham area. Charlotte and the Piedmont Triad communities are also seeing a high number of diagnosed flu cases,” said Melvin G. Lee, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for FastMed Urgent Care in North Carolina. “The best action you can take is to get your flu shot. If you think you have the flu, come in for a rapid test and receive treatment if you are diagnosed.”

The flu is highly contagious and the best action everyone can and should take is to have each family member receive their vaccination. If you think you have the flu, early detection and antiviral treatment can shorten the duration of symptoms, shorten the duration of potential hospitalization, and reduce the risk of complications and deaths from the flu.
H1N1, the main circulating strain, is the type responsible for the global flu pandemic of 2009-2010. Flu season typically peaks during January and February but can last as late as May.

There are a number of strategies to help stop the spread of the flu virus and help speed recovery. Visit www.fastmed.com/flu for more information or to find your nearest FastMed Urgent Care location.

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