Flu Fills up United Regional Hospital Beds

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is now widespread in 35 states, including Texas and Oklahoma, up from 25 states last week.

United Regional says they've opened more care units to respond to the increase and they say there are ways you can help them too.

Mel Horany has spent the last week isolated at home with chills, coughing, a runny nose and...

“Sneezing. And not just like one, it's like sneezing like a machine gun. And it's frustrating because you are grabbing for Kleenex,” he said.

At first he thought it was just a cold, since he had no sign of a fever. But then results from tests at the Clinics of North Texas showed he'd been bitten by the flu bug.

At United Regional, Dr. Scott Hoyer says it's what has filled up hospital's beds.

“We have been seeing patients who have gotten sicker than in previous years to the point where they have needed to be hospitalized,” he said.

Hoyer says they've seen so many patients the hospital opened an overflow unit last month and plans to open another Thursday to accommodate the immense volume of patients. But he says if you have the flu a trip to the hospital shouldn't necessarily be your first form of care.

“If you are having chest pain, if you are so weak that you are dizzy or light headed you can't stand up out of a chair or out of bed, if you can't keep fluids down and you are vomiting, those are the types of symptoms that are appropriate for you to be coming to the emergency room,” said Hoyer.

Like Horany did, Hoyer suggests going to a clinic or seeing your primary physician. And he says if you have the flu stay home so you don't bite others with the bug. It's still not too late to take preventative actions to fight the flu.

Doctor Hoyer suggests getting the flu shot, though it doesn't guarantee you won't come down with the virus.

The list below are places you can be treated for the flu:

Clinics of North Texas Clinic Care
Clinic Care
Community Healthcare Center
Juarez Medical Center (CHC)
Kell West Family Practice Urgent Care Center
United Regional Physician Group CarePlus
Wichita Falls Family Health Center

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