U.S. Emergency Rooms Inundated With Flu Patients

Forty-one states are battling widespread influenza outbreaks early in virus' season.
1:46 | 01/09/13

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Transcript for U.S. Emergency Rooms Inundated With Flu Patients
This morning dozens of states are now in the midst of an epidemic left here at Illinois -- reporting. At least five deaths with at least 150. Other patients in intensive care at this hour hospitals struggling to keep up there and ABC's Alex Perez in the middle of it all good morning to you in Chicago Alex. Well good morning judge this is one of the hospitals that had so many flu patients they have deterrence have a way this is the earliest start to the flu season in a decade. And hospitals are scrambling to keep up. This morning emergency rooms across the country are being inundated with patients fighting the -- a whopping 41 states are battling widespread outbreaks. And there's even. Worried friends in the face of -- Freddie. In Chicago at one point eight hospitals were diverting flu patients with non life threatening conditions from their own crowd eighty yards to those with fewer patients. At northwestern memorial they've seen a 20% increase in flu patients. Thirty to fifty people a day everybody who needs to be admitted sits in the emergency department and -- -- -- -- in Pennsylvania so many flu patients one hospital built a triage tent outside the York. And hospitals and Ohio those with the flu must Wear a mask. At least eighteen children have died from the flu this season. Our office in the last two weeks has exploded with children. According to the CDC the proportion of people seeing their doctor for flu like symptoms. Jumped from two point 8% to five point 6%. Doubling in just the last month. Ed doctors say about washing your hands in using hands sanitized -- you can reduce your chances of becoming infected with the flow by as much as 38%.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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