Flu outbreak overwhelms Chicago-area hospitals

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It is without question, flu season. These days, the state of the flu so bad in our area that a number of hospitals have resorted to diverting ambulances to other hospitals because of the flu’s impact on its emergency rooms.

Cook County Hospital turns away no one, but it doesn’t mean there is room inside. Patients line the walls while they wait for news inside the ER and the flu is largely to blame. 80 additional patients are seen each day at Cook County because of the flu.  At Rush, it is more than 50.

Emergency departments are overwhelmed with respiratory illness, more cases that doctors didn’t anticipate. That’s why the bypass process kicked in for some hospitals. While re-routing ambulances may seem unusual, at Northwestern Hospital, it happens maybe a dozen times a year.

The general public is advised to hydrate at home to reduce exposure and if you haven’t received your flu shot yet, it’s not too late. Doctors say there is a 60% chance it will beat this year’s strain.

So far the flu has claimed seven lives in Indiana and five in Illinois.

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