BALTIMORE - It's the place where a lot of people are meeting lately.
Hospitals and emergency clinics have been seeing huge numbers of people who feel awful.
There is a difference between a simple cold and the flu.
But the only way to really tell is once you get into the examination room.
A cold is a runny nose, and pressure in your head and chest.
The flu is like you were hit by a city bus, or two or even three.
“In fact everyone will tell you that they feel like they were hit by a Mack truck."
Bus, truck whatever, you just feel bad.
Doctor Wanda Simmons-Clemmons of MedStar Prompt Care says the flu is nothing to trifle with.
It can kill you.
Certain groups of people like the very young and the elderly are very susceptible along with people who may have compromised immune systems such as diabetics, asthmatics and others are higher risk.
“It's very intense and so if you feel that you should come and be treated within 48 hours we can treat you with Tama flu and decrease the progression of the virus if you come in a lot later some people have felt like this and felt better and get worse again then they wind up with a bacterial infection." Dr. Simmons-Clemmons says.
This year's flu season has placed a strong grip on the nation.
Boston has even declared a city emergency and doctors and clinics have seen a sharp if not drastic increase in patients with flu or flu like symptoms.
At MedStar, in past 30 days they've been seeing huge numbers.
Cases with flu like symptoms are averaging 50 a day at Franklin Square, 30 at Harbor Hospital, 30 to 35 at Union Memorial and a whopping 63 a day at Good Sam.
Even if you did get a flu shot you can still get the flu because of the differences in strains.
Best advice; get treated and go home.
"The best order of business is prevention it's called the flu vaccine and if you didn't get that and you get symptoms you need to come in and be seen and don't go to work and your place of employment and spread."
Prevention doesn’t just include the flu shot.” Dr. Simmons-Clemmons says.
But first and foremost wash your grubby hands also helps.
You can pick up and easily spread the flu by what you touch.
Also if you do get the flu it will take time to go away, take time off and get well.
Because the flu can develop into pneumonia very easily if you don't give it time to pass through your system.
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