12 Oct 2007

Long waits to see doctors as flu-like virus hits American Samoa

11:43 am on 12 October 2007

Patients in American Samoa are having to wait up to five hours or longer at the LBJ Emergency room to see a doctor.

Residents with a flu like virus have crowded the ER daily and the numbers have lengthened the waiting time to be treated.

Symptons of the virus include coughing, fever and loss of appetite.

The Chief Medical Officer at LBJ, Taulapapa Dr. Alo Anesi, says those with the flu bug may not need to go to the hospital.

He advises drinking lots of fluid, resting and taking tylenol.

Dr. Anesi says the changing weather conditions, raining one minute , and sunny the next, is contributing to the spread of the virus.

"It is a big outbreak at the moment. You know, we are seeing maybe hundreds of over a day, but its not epidemic form, and whenever you have a lot of people crowding together it is so much easier for this to spread."