ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The flu has caused the deaths of 11 adults this season, all of whom were over the age of 50, in just Monroe County, where more than 3,700 cases are confirmed. Three of the people who died were over the age of 85.
Dr. Maryrose Laguio-Vila, an infectious disease specialist at Rochester General Hospital, says if you can stay out of the emergency room, you should.
"When it come to deciding where to go, start by calling your primary care physician, because your primary physician knows you very well, knows if you have those underlyings condition and often will be able to see you," said Laguio-Vila. "If you come to the emergency department, we try and have people who really have severe conditions, such as it's very difficult to breathe or very high fevers."
Head to the hospital over urgent care or your doctor's office if you have an underlying medical condition.
"Predominantly what makes people very sick from the flu is if they have other underlying conditions. If they have lung conditons, like asthma, emphyzema, COPD or heart conditions like congestive heart failure – these are the people who are at higher risk of having complciations of the flu."
The advice to "stay home if you're sick" is true, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get treated. She says there are effective flu medications that can help all reduce your symptoms.