Hardest Hitting Flu Since 2009

By Eric DeFreeuw

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – It's coming sooner and hitting harder than we've seen in years, and the flu season is not showing any signs of slowing down. Doctor's offices and hospitals around the city are seeing an increase in patients with the virus to the tune of 20% to 25% higher than years past. Doctors are estimating this may be the worst flu season Fort Wayne has seen since 2009.

The worst thing to do if you are sick with the flu is stay at work or school, which could spread it to others. Doctors are advising flu-sufferers to be aware of their symptoms so they know whether they need to just stay home.

Dr. Tom Gutwein, Medical Director of the Parkview Emergency Department advises those with the flu, "if you do have a little bit of an upper respiratory infection or you feel like you're getting sick, then you need to stay home from work or you need to stay home from school or you need to stay out of the environment so that you don't spread it to everyone else. And then those people who are in the environment that are at school, at work need to wash their hands as much as possible, wash their desk area, wash where they work, use and anti-septic wipe and that will help prevent this more than anything."

Individuals who are most vulnerable to contract the flu are children and the elderly.

But fear not, "high dose" vaccines are available everywhere and are intended for the elderly as they provide more immunization.

As far as children go, Parkview Hospital is offering 1,000 free nasal mist vaccinations for children who are on Hoosier HealthWise and those not otherwise covered for flu vaccines. These mist vaccines are available on Friday January 11th at the Carew Medical Center as well as Monday January 14th at the K-21 Health Services Pavilion in Warsaw.

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