150 Illinois Flu Patients Admitted To ICU
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150 Illinois Flu Patients Admitted To ICU

150 Illinois Flu Patients Admitted To ICU

Eight Chicago-area hospitals turned away ambulances Monday night as they dealt with patients

January 8, 2013

Flu is on the upswing in Illinois along with most of the rest of the nation.

Model of Influenza Virus from U.S. National In...

Model of Influenza Virus from U.S. National Institutes for Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says almost 150 people have been admitted to intensive care units with the flu this season and six have died.

Eight Chicago-area hospitals were turning away ambulances Monday night as they dealt with a flood of patients with flu-like symptoms.

U.S. health officials say the strain of influenza virus going around this year has been linked to more hospital admissions and deaths.

“This season is a reminder of how serious flu can be,” said Dr. Julie Morita of the Chicago Department of Public Health. The most recent reports from Chicago labs that test for influenza showed 17 percent of specimens tested positive. Last year by this time, fewer than 1 percent of the tests were positive.

Statewide, the flu-related deaths have been in Cook, Will and Coles counties. People who’ve died have been in their 50s, 60s and elderly, according to the state health department.

It isn’t too late to get a flu shot, and there’s no shortage of flu vaccine. This year’s vaccine is a good match for the viruses circulating this year, one indication of how well the vaccine should work.

The state health department’s website has a map with lists of local health departments that provide flu shots. People should first contact their doctors or other health care providers. Many drug stores also provide flu vaccine.

Morita said Chicago residents can call 311 to find out where to get a free flu shot.

via 150 Illinois Flu Patients Admitted To ICU | NBC Chicago.

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