Transcript for Flu cases are on the rise
Hey, welcome back. Flu cases on the rise sadly according to the CDC. Well, we haven't officially reached epidemic level 26 states are experiencing high flu activity in lifornia, health officials say 27 people have died of the flu since October compared with three at the same time last year. Some hospitals in the state are rerouting patients to other hospitals because they're getting so many cases and in Chicago the flu season appears to be peaking early. The fire department says they've added more ambulances to respond to cases so ABC's chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton is here. Good morning. Good morning. Can we say this year is worse than years past? It appears that way now. We get weekly numbers from the CDC and, remember, that a lot of our assessments come in retrospect so come when we have a lot of data then look back to compare to last year and so we don't know whether we've peaked yet. As you mentioned it hasn't yet been determined that we're at epidemic levels but to be honest, the last couple of reports and the last couple of weeks the activity does look like that may be coming and if you look at the map you can see widespread activity in almost every state. And hospitalization rates have approximately doubled. If you look at the trends this year compared to last year, we are seeing well above the numbers we saw at this time last year. So, again, does it look worse? Yes and that's because the numbers support that. Yeah, it's jarring. You mentioned hospitalizations. I talked earlier about the fact that hospitals in southern California that are turpining people away and rerouting them. You say this is not unusual. Yeah, well, that's called going on diversion a decision made between emergency medical services and emergency departments at various hospitals. If they are filled to capacity and cannot accommodate any more patients safely they will go on temporarily diversion and send them to other close by hospitals. Usually the reason that occurs patients in the E.D. Are waiting for beds and been admitted and beds are being held up to those waiting to be discharged. If you having a heart attack you will be brought to the nearest hospital. We only have like five seconds. Important to point out it's not too late to get the flu shot and wash your hands. The flu vaccine is still around. If you are sick antiviral medications that come in oral, nasal and intravenous can be effective and if you do feel and can stay home stay away from others because you can be contagious up to seven days afterwards.
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