Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Spring may be right around the corner, but the flu is hitting its peak in Maryland. Right now doctors are getting flooded with sick patients.
Kai Jackson explains for some people, it’s so bad they’re being admitted to the hospital.
If you think the calendar means we’re beyond flu season, doctors say guess again. You can still catch it and a number of people already have.
Emergency rooms in the Baltimore area are seeing a rise in patients. Doctors say it’s influenza that’s making them sick.
“So we’ve been seeing increased cases of flu the past couple of weeks,” said Leigh Chapman, Infection Prevention Coordinator.
St. Joseph says out of 150 swabs sent to the state for testing, 33 were positive for the flu.
The elderly and the very young and those with underlying conditions tend to be most at risk for catching it.
The flu can be fatal.
At St. Joseph Medical Center, doctors say they had 20 patients hospitalized on isolation with either confirmed or suspected cases of flu.
“The weather sort of might mislead people. We had that 70 degree day last week, and then it got cold and now it’s warm again. People might think spring’s here and the flu is gone, but really the flu is peaking right now,” said Dr. James Williams, St. Joseph Medical Center.
Doctors say if you have the flu, you should cough and sneeze into your elbow. If you’re sick, stay home and avoid going places like to work and spreading the virus.
And the best defense against the flu is washing your hands.
Marie Delcher, who is elderly, got sick very fast.
“It just feels like a cold and then the temperature started and then all this gathered in the chest,” Delcher said.
There are 36,000 flu deaths in the United States every year. Doctors say if you can’t control your fever and can’t keep your fluids down, it may be time to call your healthcare provider.