Hospitals full as flu season hits

2016-07-21 13:47

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - The lingering symptoms of this season’s influenza coupled with bronchitis and pneumonia have seen an increase in the number of admissions at local hospitals with many still on a waiting list to be admitted.

Although doctors have said the flu this season is not as serious as in previous years, the symptoms are continuing in people for longer than usual.

Some doctors have attributed this to the allegation that some local pharmacists are dispensing antibiotics to patients without a doctor’s prescription.

“I have seen many patients who come in with flu symptoms but they say they have already been on antibiotics issued by a pharmacist, which makes it difficult for us to treat them,” said one of the local general practitioners.

The doctor, who asked not to be named in the newspaper for professional reasons, said no new antibiotics for the flu had been created in the last 10 years.

The general practitioner said people abusing antibiotics make their bodies resistant to the drugs and “that is why the symptoms will linger on”.

“This means that we are giving patients the same medication for 10 years, which will make their bodies immune to the medication sooner or later,” he said.

He added that there is a fear that soon people will be faced with super bugs or super viruses.

“There will be no treatment for these because everyone will be immune to the antibiotics because they are being used so freely now and when it is not warranted,” he said.

Local general practitioner Dr Krish Vather said he would not call this influenza season an epidemic but “it is definitely taking its toll on people”.

“We have been treating people with the flu but since the symptoms are lingering on, it is becoming more complicated with bronchitis and gastroenteritis. This will mean the patient has to be admitted into hospital for at least a week,” Vather said.

Spokesperson for MediClinic Hospital in Pietermaritzburg Reshnee Beekrum said there are almost no beds available with the increase of admissions.

“We are definitely seeing the effects of this year’s flu in our medical wards. More people have been booked in with flu symptoms and other complications such as bronchitis and asthma,” Beekrum said.

She said this season is especially difficult for those who are asthmatic and there was a waiting list for people waiting to be admitted into hospital.

“We have seen an increase in the number of patients admitted with flu symptoms and other complications from as early as in March and April this year,” she said.

Beekrum said the hospital administered the flu vaccine to all staff as soon as it was made available.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the influenza season is “normal” and in keeping with previous years.

“We have a number of different programmes that monitor the influenza season and we are now in the middle of the flu season with the peak approaching. All seems normal,” said Dr Cheryl Cohen of the NICD.

She advised people experiencing flu symptoms to stay at home and not attend work or school.

“Wash hands regularly and be careful in the way in which you sneeze [by covering your mouth]. People need a lot of rest,” she added.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  flu  |  medical

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.