The flu is on the rise in much of the country and here in Northwest, Ohio. It's spreading fast as the CDC reports widespread flu activity went from 11 states to 24 states over the past couple of weeks. What's even more concerning is that 11 children have reportedly died so far this year from flu related complications.
Mercy Health Dr. Rachel Zinsou says flu season is filling some emergency rooms in the area. "People are coming in with typical cold symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion. Sometimes they complain of diarrhea and vomiting as well," says Zinsou.
While those are the symptoms of any strain of the flu, H1N1 or Influenza A is the one hitting the most people. All strains also come with muscle aches, fatigue and fever as well. H1N1 tends to get serious faster in some patient. "The ones who have more co-morbitities like lung diseases like COPD or Asthma, people with Diabetes, people who are immuno-suppressed," says Dr. Zinsou.
Any concerns at all about symptoms need to be taken seriously. Last year's flu season was the most deadly in decades with 80-thousand deaths, including 200 children. "If the patient is not able to eat or drink they're really just not themselves. If they're younger and they still wear diapers, if they're not making enough wet diapers or stool diapers if you can't break their fevers with Motrin or Tylenol, bring them in to the doctor."