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RGV hospitals prepare for increase in flu patients

The flu season is sending many people to the emergency room, filling up hospitals across the Rio Grande Valley.

The flu season is sending many people to the emergency room, filling up hospitals across the Rio Grande Valley.

"There's nothing that we need to worry about as far as being overcrowded or people not being seen. It's just going to take a little bit longer," said Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hushen.

The increased number of patients doesn't come to a surprise, but Valley medical officials want to educate patients, as well as treat them.

Health officials recommend people go to physicians, unless it's dire, before heading to the emergency room.

"There are alternatives. They could go to their family doctor and get treatment earlier to help prevent some of the more sicker symptoms that might come with this," said Harlingen Medical Center Director of ER Connie Manley.

Hidalgo County health officials are also reporting a major increase in flu activity.

They urge residents to get vaccinated and take precaution to prevent illness.

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