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Flu overwhelms children’s hospital, ER says call pediatrician first (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

One of Chicago’s children’s hospitals are notifying parents to call a pediatrician before heading to the ER if their child has flu-like symptoms.

According to a WGN report, at Lurie Children’s Hospital – an influx of flu patients have skyrocketed as the flu season is in full swing. But according to the news outlet, hospital’s emergency room specialists are seeing one in five of the patients could have been treated in their pediatrician’s office the past several days.

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“A lot of these individuals come to Lurie when they should be going to their pediatrician or urgent care. And if it’s deemed seriously ill they can then be referred to emergency room,” said Infectious Disease Specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Dr. Tina Tan said to WGN.

Dr. Tan told WGN that unnecessary emergency room visits could expose your child to other illnesses as well as lengthen wait times.

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Doctors say flu season is early this year according to the news outlet but it is never too late to get vaccinated and parents should do their best not to freak out.

“Flu can get serious. The major takeaway is that everyone should be vaccinated for influenza. The other thing is yes there are complications that can occur that can cause death but they are extraordinarily rare and it’s not something a parent should just worry about. So if their child is having fever, runny nose, call pediatrician first before running into the emergency room,” Dr. Tan said to the news outlet.

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