UTMC launches plan to keep flu from spreading - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

UTMC launches plan to keep flu from spreading

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More than fifteen states, including Ohio, are dealing with a serious flu problem.  That's why UTMC leaders have launched a plan to keep patients and physicians as healthy as possible.

Anyone coming into the emergency department with flu-like symptoms has to immediately wash or sanitize their hands and put on a mask.  The doctor and health workers treating the patient also have to wear protective gear.  A team of about a dozen doctors, health and communication workers are also sending messages to students via the web and social media about flu prevention and treatment.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 860 cases of the flu have been reported nationwide, according to the CDC.  That's more than ten times the amount from the same time last year.  Many cities are dealing with overcrowded emergency departments, and a lack of staff to deal with the number of flu cases.  Some local health officials believe this outbreak could rival the H1N1 virus of 2009.

"The flu itself is a little more aggressive, it seems to be lasting longer," says Dr. Kris Brickman, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at UTMC.  "It seems to be causing people to be sicker than what we've been accustomed to for the past couple of years."

Doctors recommend minimizing hand contact with others, washing your hands regularly, and of course, getting a flu shot as soon as possible.

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