Influenza virus crippling emergency rooms 2 months before 'peak' of flu season

Emergency room doctors across the country say they started seeing a steady number of flu patients back in November and it has only gotten much worse since then.

And by definition, we are still more than two months away from the peak of the flu season. ?

Dr. Manu Malhotra, the Henry Ford Hospital Emergency Room Director says, "there is a mortality associated with the flu that is under-reported. There are ten of thousands that die each year. People don't take it as seriously."

In doctor Malhotra's opinion, this year is a bad one when it comes to the number of patients getting sick from the influenza virus. Even those that may have gotten the influenza vaccination.

Flu vaccines are based on health professional's predictions of the upcoming flu season based upon data collected, so there is room for error.

"The strains are different, and the severity.  That's not surprising that some years are worse than others," says Malhotra. 

Statewide the Michigan Department of Community Health has 182 confirmed cases of the flu in the state.  

"Upper respiratory symptoms are the hallmark of the flu, coughing, runny nose, the sore throat.   Fevers are common with the flu however, this year I have seen a few cases without any fevers," Maholtra says. 
As with all cases, the flu is highly contagious as statistically the young and old are most at risk, so it's recommended that those with the flu stay in bed and the house is cleaned with bleach or other household cleaners.

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