WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The flu is going around Texoma. So much so that it's leading to over-crowding at United Regional. Longer wait times in the emergency room and more people being admitted to the hospital.
Because of it, they're asking people with flu-like symptoms to go to their doctor or a walk-in clinic.
"That helps the whole community because then people can be seen in the appropriate place," V.P. of Operations at United Regional, Nancy Townley said.
And transferring people to other hospitals.
"We've contacted Kell West Regional," Townley, said. "We've worked with Electra Memorial Hospital, all the hospitals in Wichita County, and agreed to place patients most appropriately in those hospitals if needed.
Just how big is the increase? In December of 2016 United Regional saw 31 flu cases. Just two weeks ago in December, that number increased to 311.
Townley encourages people to get their flu shot if they haven't.
"Even if it doesn't cover every single strain, it does help the body's immune system and people are able to recover from these flu-like symptoms more quickly," Townley said.
Other preventative measures include washing your hands, staying away from large crowds, and staying home if you're under the weather.
Townley said it's important United Regional is equipped to treat everyone.
"United Regional is uniquely positioned in the region to be able to care for the more critically ill types of patients," Townley said. "So we want to make sure that we have that capability."
If you experience dizziness, difficulty breathing, confusion, pain in your chest and abdomen, or vomiting, you are then urged to come to the E.R.