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Flu cases growing faster than expected

Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 11:54 AM EST

Each flu season brings its own set of challenges, but this year the flu season hit us much earlier than expected. Five states are seeing wide-spread outbreaks of the flu.

It started New Year's Day around 2 a.m. It hit Jay Payne hard. "Chills, fever. I couldn't, it was awful," Payne said.

Jay was rushed to the hospital Monday morning.

"I've had the flu before two three times but never this bad," Payne said.

Jay is one of more than 100 patients admitted at GBMC in five days with flu like symptoms.

"We really haven't seen volumes like this since 2007 as far as the number of people getting sick with the flu," said Dr. Sternicht with the GBMC.

It's a problem across the country, emergency rooms filling up with patients suffering from the flu. But Dr. Sternicht says before you rush in, check with your primary doctor first.

"The main reason to come to the emergency department would be severe breathing any confusion changes in behavior fainting things like that would be a reason to come to the emergency department," Dr. Sternicht said.

The flu season usually peaks in February but here at GBMC doctors started treating patients in late September. Dr. Sternicht says remember the importance of hand washing, cough hygiene, staying away from people if you're sick and most important, getting a flu shot.

Doctors say its not too late to get a flu shot.

To see the Center for Disease Control's Active Flu Tracker, click on Newslinks.

Flu cases growing faster than expected


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Flu Signs and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

FLU VS. COMMON COLD

Flu Symptoms (more intense than common cold):

  • Fever 
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough are more common and intense
  • Chills
  • HeadachesCommon


Cold Symptoms:  
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever is rare
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild fatigue

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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