Lufkin emergency workers seeing spike in patients with coughs and colds

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Coughs, runny noses, congestion, and difficulty breathing -- emergency room workers are seeing it all.

Employees at Memorial Health System of East Texas's emergency room in Lufkin said patients are coming in with the flu and other viral illnesses.

A family nurse practitioner said most of the time patients should take decongestants for upper-respiratory infections unless you have a bacterial infection and then antibiotics may be necessary.

He said getting your flu shot is the best prevention against the flu and washing your hands is key to staying healthy.

Normally it's good to see your family doctor, but lately, especially on the weekends, the ER is seeing a big spike in patients with coughs and colds.

"We see a lot of it mainly because of the frequent switching of the weather seems to make people more susceptible to this," said Jeremy Belschner a family nurse practitioner. "Their body's aren't used to the hot one day, cold one day that we have here in East Texas."

To keep from getting sick Belschner said stay bundled up if you have to be out in the cold and take a multivitamin.

If you smoke, stop. He said smoking makes your lungs more susceptible to infection.

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