Health Plus: H1N1 101, When should I see a doctor? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: H1N1 101, When should I see a doctor?

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Since H1N1 appeared in Iowa, the flu strain has led to increased traffic for local clinics and hospitals.

But are all these trips to the doctor necessary?

In our special Health Plus report, H1N1 101, when you should see a physician this flu season.

As a longtime nurse, Lynn Schmidt has seen a lot of flu seasons come and go.

But with H1N1 concerns, the discussion with her patients and family is different this time around.

"I have 4 children in their early 20s and 2 of them have kids who are 4 and under and my daughter's pregnant. So we've been talking a bout the flu injections a bit and that the little ones need to get it," she says.

As the Janesville woman's children wait for more H1N1 vaccine to come in, she and the Covenant Clinic staff continue to field questions from patients.

When should they come in if they get sick?

 "I don't think if you have an influenza-like illness you need to see a doctor necessarily," says Dr. Sadia Ali, Covenant Clinic.

In fact, doctors say most people who get H1N1 will be fine because most of them are otherwise healthy.

But if you are at an increased risk for complications or have certain symptoms, that's a different story.

"You really only need to come to the doctor's office if you are experiencing symptoms shortness of breath, very high fevers, dehydration, nausea, vomiting for which you might need further care."

Doctor Ali encourages you to get both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines when available.

Because of increased demand this flu season, Covenant Clinic is expanding its morning walk-in hours.

Convenient Care in Waterloo will now open at 10 instead of noon each weekday.

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