MD Now Urgent Care Steps in as Flu Season Approaches its Peak
West Palm Beach, Fla. – (January 16, 2013) – MD Now Medical Centers, a leading provider of urgent care services in Florida today announced its 2013-2014 flu outlook. MD Now Urgent Care has treated patients with influenza and influenza-like illness throughout its many Urgent Care Centers in South Florida. The numbers of those treated rose during the month of December and expectations are that the numbers will continue to rise. The figures represent a regional outbreak of flu this season for the state and are creating an increased demand for Upper Respiratory infection and Flu treatment in its urgent care centers.
National sources point to widespread flu outbreaks in several states, including Florida neighboring states Alabama and Mississippi, as well as another nearby state. In North Carolina, the Triangle Business Journal reported that UNC Health Care is “restricting [hospital] visitors to combat an early and active flu season.” According to the business journal report, North Carolina Children’s Hospital, the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill and Rex Hospitals’ Special Care Nursery in Raleigh would begin restricting visitors younger than 12 years from visiting patients.
“At MD Now Urgent Care, we’ve seen higher levels of flu and flu-like illnesses in patients, young and old,” said Peter Lamelas, M.D., CEO of MD Now. “It’s important for those who haven’t received flu shots in Florida to search for an urgent care or healthcare provider to get one, soon. Influenza is unpredictable and can be quite serious for many patients.”
Distribution of flu outbreak information has gotten much better in recent years. Three sites that provide current flu information include:
• Google Trends – Google uses its search engine system to track specific search terms that can point to flu trends. Currently Google Trends is indicating moderate flu activity.
• National Flu Report from the Weather Channel – The week ending December 28 showed regional outbreaks of flu in Florida and widespread outbreaks in roughly 26 other states.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The CDC is always one of the top information sites for updated information about flu outbreaks and news, including advisories, recommendations and reports.
The biggest concern for urgent care centers and other medical providers is early indication that the most prevalent form of the flu hitting the Unites States is H1N1, better known as the Swine Flu. A global outbreak of Swine Flu in 2009 led Mexico City to close most of its public and private facilities to contain the spread of the virus. Fears of a widespread epidemic led people around the globe to wear facial masks during the outbreak.
“Precautions such as covering your mouth when you cough to prevent spreading illness, using alcohol based hand sanitizers and avoiding crowded places during an outbreak to prevent getting illness, are advised and to get a flu shot; it’s still not too late, ” said Dr. Lamelas.