North Texas emergency rooms still packed with flu patients

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 6:36 PM

FORT WORTH -- Traditionally, headaches don't start until New Year's morning. But the misery is well underway in North Texas emergency rooms.

"It's been very busy," said Dr. Neal Talbott. "Flu season is definitely here. Headaches, body aches, fever, stuffy nose -- feeling quite ill."

Talbott has spent 17 years in the emergency room at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

He said he's specifically seeing a big spike in influenza A. Hospital officials say the Harris had 360 visits Sunday -- it was close to a record.

"I'm seeing 102 and 103 temperatures," Talbott said.

And he sees a common theme among patients: most of them have not had a flu shot.

"Most people - if they get the flu - if they get the flu shot, it will be less severe," he said.

Talbott said if you have the flu, wear a mask to protect people around you.

"Even at this distance, you can get the flu because they're small droplets," he said, while standing at arm's length.

If someone sneezes a yard away?

"You've got it," he said.

If you're still putting off getting a flu shot because you think it won't help, consider this: for Harris hospital workers, it's required, according to Dr. Talbott.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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