Physicians field extra calls from patients worried about the new flu virus.
As the number of swine flu or H1N1 cases ticks higher across the region, doctors say concerned people are largely following recommendations from local health departments.
At Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. William Duffy spends his days helping people feel better when they have coughs, colds and the seasonal flu. He’s been busy this week but says concerns over the new H1N1 virus haven’t increased his patient load.
Duffy: Honestly right now in my practice I haven’t been seeing a lot of patients in the office complaining of symptoms. We get a lot of phone calls in regards to the swine flu, but not a lot of patients coming in.
Health officials want people who are feeling ill and worried that they’ve caught the new flu strain to stay at home and call their doctor. Duffy’s office has helped several patients sort through their symptoms and risks. But most people haven’t had any of the high-risk exposures that would require a follow-up flu test.
In New Jersey where there are several confirmed cases of the new virus, doctors at Cherry Hill’s Cooper University Hospital say they’ve gotten only a few calls from the “worried well”.