HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 12, 2013) - Memorial Emergency Center in Houston, like other emergency medical facilities in the Southwest, is seeing an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms. The Center expects the number of influenza cases to continue rising with the extended flu season.
"We started seeing patients with flu-like symptoms earlier this season, beginning in late November with an increase in early December," says Dr. Akash Bhagat, Director of Operations for Memorial Emergency Center. "Now that the holidays have passed and children are back in school, we see more influenza cases developing and still have months of flu season ahead."
Dr. Bhagat says while the influenza virus causes diseases in people of all ages, the Center is treating more children than adults. She attributes this in part to the Center providing 24 hour pediatric urgent care.
"If a child is suffering with severe flu-like symptoms, a parent can bring the child to Memorial Emergency day or night rather than wait for the pediatrician's office to open the next morning," says Dr. Bhagat. "Their child is seen in minutes rather than the standard wait at a hospital-based ER."
The influenza virus is hitting adults hard, too, and those who are over age 65, pregnant, or have a previous medical condition are at higher risk of developing flu complications. The Center for Disease Control published a list of emergency warning signs for both children and adults. Dr. Bhagat said the public should be aware of these symptoms so they know when to seek emergency care.
As a freestanding emergency room in Houston, Memorial Emergency Center treats patients on a walk-in basis 24/7. With a lab and pharmacy onsite, the staff can prescribe and fill anti-viral medications to help patients feel better faster and prevent flu-related complications such as pneumonia. Patients who require hospitalization can be transferred to an area hospital as an inpatient, by-passing the hospital emergency room.
About Memorial Emergency Center
Memorial Emergency Center is a 24 hour freestanding facility in Houston fully staffed and equipped to handle any medical emergency. Although the facility houses all of the vital amenities of a hospital-based ER, the aesthetics and conveniences to patients more resemble a high-end private practice.