East Texans staying away from hospitals over fear of flu

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - H1N1 is causing quite a stir in East Texans. Some people are so afraid of catching the virus they are staying away from hospitals, doctors offices, or any place they think sick people might be.

However, doctors tell us that is a mistake - especially if you have the symptoms.

Joanne Foster said she's not worried about catching  H1N1.

"If you overly worried about illnesses than it's gonna put you in a state of stress, and stress is not good for us anyway," said Foster.

She's heard all about H1N1, and yet the news is not keeping her away from hospitals.

"I have a family member that's in the hospital right now," said Foster. "Matter of fact, been in there since Tuesday, and I've been back and fourth to the hospital and I'm more concerned about my family member than I am of somebody that's gonna be walking around with a virus."

Hospital officials are keeping this virus in perspective. They say there are sick people in hospitals all the time. You go to a hospital because you're sick. The worst thing to do is not get checked, officials say, if you're concerned with your health.

Both Trinity Mother Francis and ETMC hospitals say that if after testing you're showing signs of H1N1, then you will be separated from other patients.

"You're actually more at risk in other gatherings where that survey is not going to be done and you're not going to be masked," said Dr. Robert Creath, M.D. "You're not going to be prevented from transmitting to other people or from other folks."

"A drop in the number of patients earlier in the week was an indication that we needed to let the public know that they should come to the emergency room if they need to," said John Moore.

"Very few people are dying from Texas from what I've heard, so, just watch yourself, take care of yourself," said Foster. "Try to make sure if you do feel the symptoms coming on, go get some help, don't just sit around the house, thinking that, maybe I'll be okay."

Doctors tell us there's nothing to loose by speaking with a physician. Again, if you've traveled to at-risk areas such as Mexico or south Texas or you're experiencing respiratory-like symptoms you're advised to go see a doctor.

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