Secondary Illnesses Can Complicate Flu Recovery

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Hudson Valley ENT recommends patients watch for warning signs

The 2012-13 flu season is among the worst in recent history. New York hospitals report more than 5,000 flu-related hospitalizations since the outbreak began and the number continues to increase. Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) advises area residents to watch their flu symptoms and recovery carefully while being on the alert for secondary illnesses.

“We are seeing an increasing number of complications related to the flu, explains Dr. Virginia Feldman at Hudson Valley ENT. “These can range from sinus infections, bronchitis, dysphonia (voice problems), and ear infections. Additionally, pre-existing conditions such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease, can become more severe after a bout with the flu.” Across New York State, the death rate due to pneumonia and flu is higher than usual this month.

Dr. Feldman notes that symptoms of flu complications may resemble the flu but often are more severe.

“Patients should take note of possible sinusitis symptoms — headache, congestion, yellow or green mucus, as well as ear pain which may be a sign of infection.”

People who contract the flu should drink plenty of fluids, rest, consider over-the-counter medications to relieve specific symptoms such as pain or a cough, and speak to a doctor about whether an antiviral medication might be helpful.

It is not too late to get a flu shot at the doctor’s office, ENT office, or pharmacy. Governor Cuomo recently declared a flu emergency, allowing pharmacists to administer flu shots to children as young as 6 months of age. The shot is particularly important for older adults, children, and people who have a pre-existing medical condition.

Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Building B, Suite 220, Middletown, NY. For more information, please call 888.350.1368 or visit

About Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat
Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C., has been redefining the healthcare experience in the Hudson Valley for more than ten years. Its board-certified physicians, supported by licensed audiologists and dedicated staff, have established a reputation for superior care in treating patients with allergies, gastroesophageal reflux, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, hearing and balance disorders, nasal and sinus disease, head and neck cancer, sleep apnea, snoring, and pediatric ear and throat disorders.

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Kimberly Sawicki
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