Chances are you or someone you know has caught the flu or will in the coming weeks.
Illinois is experiencing the worst flu season since the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.
The Illinois Department of Health reports that almost 150 people in the state have been admitted to hospital intensive care units for the disease this season, and six have died.
Emergency rooms around the state have had to reroute patients to other hospitals because their beds are full. The doctors at Edward Hospital have noticed the same uptick in flu visits to the emergency room.
“Right now we are seeing a very concentrated number of patients with the flu these past couple of weeks,” says Dr. Tom Scaletta, the Director of Emergency Services at Edward Hospital. “Usually the flu is spread over a longer period of time and it doesn’t feel as bad. It seems to me that this flu season has been concentrated over the last few weeks.”
Doctors are still urging patients to get a flu shot. It can take two weeks to build immunity, but if you come into contact with the virus after getting the vaccine it may lessen the severity of the illness.
The influenza virus can live on surfaces for up to with hours, so remember to wash your hands frequently.
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