PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Emergency rooms locally and across the nation are packed thanks to a bad flu season. Emergency room workers are swamped according to Dr. Jerahme Posner, an emergency medicine physician at Lankenau Medical Center. He explains what doctors can do if you get the flu and seek help. “Patients are dehydrated, we’ll place…
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a growing number of deaths and hospitalizations blamed on the flu, which is now spreading rapidly across the country.
The CDC says the flu is now widespread in 46 states, which includes the tri-state region.
There are four times as many flu cases now as compared with this time last year.
It is still too soon to say just how bad this flu season will be, but the CDC believes it could reach near epidemic levels.
Young children are being especially hard hit.
Eight-month-old Kingston Smith is hospitalized with the flu, among roughly 10,000 children under the age of 4 who have been hospitalized.
“About four days ago, he started breathing hard, vomiting, having fevers, so I drove here to the hospital and they said, ‘Yes, we need to keep him,’” Shareeka, Kingston’s mother said.
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Nationwide influenza is widespread. Of the 100 people who have died from flue so far this season, 13 are children.
“Unfortunately, it can cause a lot of complications. Children can get severely sick, actually need to be in the ICU,” Dr. Claire Bocchini, an infectious disease specialist, said.
In New Jersey, there’s been one confirmed pediatric flu related death and 11 severe cases.