Flu Reaches Epidemic Level, Affecting Delmarva - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Flu Reaches Epidemic Level, Affecting Delmarva

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 6:25 PM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.-In the waiting room of Express Care in Salisbury sits the Lewis family. Mom, Rebecca, comforts 7-year-old Layla who is waiting to get her flu shot. And just like Layla, many people are receiving their vaccines amid extreme flu cases across the U.S.

"We came here because it was easy and we want to keep her protected," Rebecca Lewis said.

The flu has now reached epidemic levels in the U.S., which has affected 49 of the 50 states. The flu is being labeled as "widespread" throughout Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, according to each state's health department.

The reason why this year's flu is so dangerous is because of the prominent strain is called H2N3. It's a strain that is vicious and that can mutate.

Doctors say that it's hard to predict which strain will be the most common, and that makes treating the symptoms much harder.

"Hand washing, it's the biggest, thing you can do to prevent the flu yourself and more importantly giving it to your family," said Peninsula Regional Medical Center Emergency Room physician Dr. Harry Emmerich.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say flu-related hospitalizations nearly doubled nationwide last week. And the number of children killed by the illness also rose to 20.

"It's been picking up over the last several weeks, we've seen a tremendous increase in the amount of flu cases we've had. Particularly in children and the elderly population," Emmerich said.

But doctors say you don't necessarily need to go to the Emergency Room right away: go there if you experience trouble breathing or tightness in your chest.

And despite the prominent mutated strain of virus, physician's assistant Dave Romero says it's still worth it to get a vaccine.

"Even if it's not as effective against one type of strain of flu... it is still effective against the other ones," Romero said.


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