Flu cases are on the rise across New Jersey, some hospitals strained with patients of all ages

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Influenza cases are reaching alarming levels in the three states and across the country.

The increase in infections means that hospitals are overwhelmed with patients of all ages.

Doctors say the rise in flu cases is coming sooner.

“We are now seeing levels that are higher than what we normally see at this time of year,” said Dr. Katie Lockwood, primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We are now reaching influenza levels that are near the peak of the 2019 season before the pandemic.”

“We see 130% of our predicted volume in adult EDs, and our pediatric volume is 150-160% of what we normally see,” added Dr. Dennis Guest, the vice president of clinical operations at Virtua Health Emergency, added Services.

A map from the CDC shows New Jersey with a high level of activity in late October. Pennsylvania and Delaware have low or minimal activity levels.

Data from the New Jersey Department of Health shows positive flu tests in the state doubled in a week in late October.

Last week there were just over 7,500 confirmed cases of flu in the US, up about 62% from the previous week.

Doctors say it’s not too late to get the flu shot.

“All my friends have been vaccinated against the flu and no one has gotten sick or felt bad from the vaccination,” said Anthony Farma of Cherry Hill, who got the flu shot about two weeks ago.

For children, pediatricians say to watch for gastrointestinal symptoms that often accompany the flu.

“Because these symptoms are more common in children, and especially infants, who can become dehydrated easily, it’s important to keep your child well hydrated if you think they may have the flu or a cold,” Lockwood said.

Doctors say that doesn’t bode well for respiratory illnesses this winter.

“I think it’s going to get a lot worse. I really do. I think the prediction models will be bad flu season, bad winter,” Guest said.

Doctors say washing your hands and staying home when you’re sick can make a big difference.

Guest says to only go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing or are in distress.

Otherwise contact your family doctor.

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https://6abc.com/the-flu-new-jersey-shot-cases-infections-symptoms/12434920/ Flu cases are on the rise across New Jersey, some hospitals strained with patients of all ages

Alley Einstein

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