WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
This flu season is getting an early start, and spreading fast, with Illinois one of the hardest hit states. Because so many patients with flu-like symptoms are flooding emergency rooms in Chicago, several hospitals are on what's called "bypass status", where the hospitals are turning away ambulances with non-emergency cases, and directing them to other hospitals with fewer patients.
"It definitely feels like our volume has been heavy this year, and I think we're feeling that everywhere," says Rush University Medical Center Dr. Stephanie Wang.
Around 150 people have been admitted to intensive care units in the area with the flu so far this season, and 6 have died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois is among 29 states reporting high flu activity. 41 states reporting widespread geographic flu activity for the week that ended December 29.
"So, we're seeing an early spike, at least compared to the past 5 or 6 years, this is very early and we don't know what the peak is yet," says Director of Emergency Medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital Dr. Glenn Druckenbrod.
U.S. health officials say the strain of influenza virus going around this year has been linked to more hospital admissions and deaths. One of the lingering questions includes why this season has been so bad, so early.
"There's some theories out there, I don't think anyone knows for sure the answer to that question," says Dr. Wang. "Sometimes you've got to wait for the whole flu season to complete it's course to be able to reflect back."
One theory: people are going to work, or school, with the flu, spreading the virus.
"So, we really recommend people stay home until they no longer have a fever and have not been coughing for at least a 24 hour period," says Dr. Wang.
Health officials around the country agree that it is not too late to get a flu shot, and if you haven't gotten one, getting one would be a really good idea this season.
Wednesday, January 9 2013, 11:24 PM CST
State officials to hold seat belt campaign event
May 24, 2013 08:11 GMT
SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (AP) -- The Governor's Highway Safety Office plans to announce its "Click It or Ticket" campaign on Friday.
The event is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. at the Robertson County Courthouse in Springfield.
Nationally, statistics show seat belt use increased significantly in 2012 as compared to 2011 among drivers, right-front passengers and backseat occupants.
However, officials say more than 400 of Tennessee's crash fatalities last year involved unrestrained drivers or passengers.
The Governor's Highway Safety Office urges all motorists to buckle up.
Asia stocks extend losses after big sell-off
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.