TEXAS – Doctors say the importance of getting a flu shot is nothing to sneeze at; especially when the state is looking at what could be the worst flu season in the past few years.
In Austin, St. David's Medical Center's Dr. Ann Buchanan has seen an increase of people coming into the emergency room displaying flu-like symptoms. The flu brings with it a combination of chills, body aches, fatigue and a high fever.
Dr. Buchanan said she expects even more flu cases to come later in the season.
The Influenza A strain is seemingly dominating this season, which includes H1N1 and H3N2.
When Dr. Buchanan looked at the Walgreens' data, she said the numbers could be misleading because it only measures the number of prescriptions filled for flu medication, like Tamiflu, instead of confirmed cases.
"People could be filling Tamiflu prescriptions because they actually have a confirmed case of the flu...or they could be given Tamiflu because somebody thought they have the flu and just treated it prophylactically,” said Dr. Buchanan. “Or they could have been given Tamiflu because a family member has the flu and they wanted to take it prophylactically to prevent getting the flu."
However, the doctor warns that Tamiflu is not a magic cure for the flu. The flu is self-limited and it does go away on its own within five to seven days.
Doctors say the best way to prevent getting sick is to get a flu shot. However, it takes two weeks to go into effect.