Flu Closes Schools, Flusters Hospitals Nationwide

PHOTO: Yasunary Garrido holds her son, Samuel Espinoza, 2, as he receives a flu vaccination from Dr. Amanda Porro M.D. during a visit to the Miami Childrens Hospital on Jan. 7, 2015 in Coral Gables, Fla.PlayJoe Raedle/Getty Images
WATCH Flu Vaccine Only 23% Effective

This flu season continues to prove exceptionally bad with school closures and overwhelmed hospitals throughout the country.

In Minco, Oklahoma, a public school with too many children out sick decided to close its doors for the week, according to ABC's Oklahoma affiliate KOCO-TV.

In Philadelphia, 75 Nazareth Academy Grade School students were out Tuesday with flu-like symptoms, forcing the school to close Wednesday for cleaning, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV. The school only has about 200 students.

And in Nevada, hospitals are so full of flu patients that they're asking people without emergencies to seek care somewhere else, according to several news outlets in the area.

"Cases of the flu continue to increase in Southern Nevada," HealthCare Partners Nevada wrote on its Facebook page. "Don't head to the emergency room. Go to the urgent care clinic instead."

PHOTO: Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as a nurse administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass. on Jan 9, 2013.Charles Krupa/AP Photo
Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as a nurse administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass. on Jan 9, 2013.

It's no secret this is a doozy of a flu season thanks to H3N2, this year's predominant flu strain, which is more severe. On top of that, this year's flu vaccine has been less effective against it because the virus mutated after the vaccine was manufactured.

H3N2 is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations and is especially hard on children and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those especially at risk for developing flu complications include people older than 65, pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma and kidney disorders.

"Hospitalization rates in the over-65 age group are rising sharply," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said last week.

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