Archive | January, 2018

Flu Mythbusters

Is it just a bad cold? When is it too late to get a flu vaccine? Will the flu shot give me the flu?

These are some of the questions Lexington Medial Center doctors hear all the time about the flu. In this WLTX interview, Dr. Dan Avosso, medical director of the Emergency department at Lexington Medical Center, separates flu fact from fiction.

It’s A Bad Flu Season

We’re in the middle of a tough flu season. In fact, Lexington Medical Center doctors say it may be the worst flu season in South Carolina since 2010.

In October, the Lexington Medical Center Emergency department saw 15 flu cases; in November, 80; in December, 550. And, in just the first week of January – 300 flu cases.

“The flu is a very serious illness,” said Daniel L. Avosso, MD, MBA, FACEP, FACHE, medical director of the Emergency department at Lexington Medical Center. “It causes hospitalization and death. And its symptoms last longer than other illnesses.”

Unoftunately, Dr. Avosso says this year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective as we had hoped.

“Each year, we have to predict what vaccine to make. Some years, we get it right. Others, we don’t,” he said. The accuracy of the vaccine determines the severity of the flu season.”

However, Dr. Avosso advises that patients should still get a flu shot. That’s because if you’re exposed to the flu after having the vaccine, your symptoms may not be as severe.

It’s especially important for people with underlying conditions to have a flu vaccine. That includes people with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, congestive heart failure, neurological issues and who are bed bound. It also includes the very young, pregnant women and the elderly population. That’s because these groups are most likely to be hospitalized with flu complications.

The flu is spread through small microscopic droplets. You can contract the flu from someone who is as many as six feet away from you. You can also catch it from touching the same door knob as someone with the flu. It’s important to be especially careful in crowds.

Daniel Avosso, MD

The flu tends to peak this time of year because people are stuck inside in cold weather spreading germs from one person to another as opposed to the warmer weather months where people enjoy the outdoors.

If you’re exposed to the flu, you’re likely to develop flu symptoms between one and four days later. If you have the flu, you were contagious the day before your symptoms appeared and up to a week later.

Tamiflu is a medicine that can help shorten the duration of the flu and help with symptoms. But you need to begin taking it between one and two days after symptoms appear. And because it can cause side effects, some doctors recommend it only for a select group of patients.

The flu is a virus – so antibiotics won’t help. In addition to Tamiflu, it’s important to stay hydrated, rest and treat your symptoms with over-the-counter medication. With proper care, the flu will eventually run its course.

Carolina Pulmonary Opens New Location in Northeast Columbia

Carolina Pulmonary has opened a new office in Northeast Columbia. This Lexington Medical Center physician practice provides pulmonary and sleep medicine consultations, pulmonary function testing and chest X-rays. Conveniently located off Farrow Road near Interstates 20 and 77, this new location will help the practice better serve its patients.

“We look forward to supporting our growing network of family care and internal medicine practitioners as they expand into Northeast Columbia,” said Richard Monk, MD, FCCP, medical director for Carolina Pulmonary.

The practice already operates a location in West Columbia.

C. Gregory Cauthen, MD, FCCP; Francis M. Dayrit, MD, FCCP; W. Shawn Ghent, MD, FCCP; C. David Perry, MD, FCCP; and Mohamed S. Soliman, MD, FCCP, will practice at the new location. Dr. Cauthen, Dr. Ghent and Dr. Perry joined Carolina Pulmonary in October 2017.

“Opening a second office in Northeast Columbia not only better serves our established patients from the Lexington Sleep Solutions sleep lab in Northeast Columbia, but with the additions of Dr. Cauthen, Dr. Ghent and Dr. Perry to our practice, it supports our new patients in Sumter, Elgin and Camden,” said Sunshine Cobb, MHA, CMPE, division administrator.

Carolina Pulmonary will share its new location with Lexington Brain and Spine Institute, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. There will be eight exam rooms for pulmonary and sleep medicine patients and a complete pulmonary function testing lab, as well as a new X-ray suite to complement the existing MRI capabilities at Lexington Brain and Spine Institute.

For more information about the services and providers at Carolina Pulmonary, visit

Carolina Pulmonary
720 Rabon Road
Columbia, SC 29203

146 North Hospital Drive, Suite 400
West Columbia, SC 29169

Now Accepting Patients
(803) 256-0464