A Houston doctor says local hospital beds are at capacity and flu sufferers might be better off staying at home instead of hitting the clinics.

“Someone who’s otherwise healthy can be treated over the phone,” said medical professor at UT McGovern Medical School Dr. Eric Thomas, M.D. “There’s a lot going on. Definitely more infections than usual.”

Thomas says Tamiflu can be prescribed by physicians through a phone call then infected patients can pick it up from their local pharmacies.

The doctor says about 10% of his cases are from flu sufferers and that the number of cases in the Houston area is continuing to rise.  He says most doctors still have same-day appointments available but recommends patients go to walk-in clinics at pharmacies and grocery stores if they need to get prescriptions for Tamiflu.

He says Tamiflu can both treat the virus and also prevent it.

“It can also prevent the flu but we like to reserve it for people who are at high risk for getting complications with it,” Dr. Thomas said.

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