Hospitals struggle to keep pace as flu outbreak peaks

Hundreds have been struck down in a flu epidemic

- In a flu season that has reached near-epidemic proportions nationwide, three people in Wake County have lost their lives.

Harris County Health has confirmed there have been two deaths in the county as well.

Dr. Luis Garcia from Family First Health on South George Street said he's seen about 10 or 15 flu cases in York City since October.

This week Parkland employees had to set up an outdoor medical tent to help handle the flow of patient visits...and they urging people to go to community clinics rather than the emergency room.

Roughly 270,000 people took advantage of the free flu shot, 20,000 less than past year.

While flu-related deaths are not uncommon, the number of people being treated for the virus this season is, say officials. It's able to prompt your immune system to make antibodies against the flu, so it's ready in case you encounter the real the thing.

The department said as the flu season, now listed in the highest category as widespread, climbs toward its peak, residents can still get flu vaccines and it's not true, despite rumors, that the vaccine isn't effective this year.

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"We're definitely seeing a lot more cases of flu and definitely more than a year ago", said Lyndy Stone, marketing director for Shannon Medical Center.

Mitchell says the hospital first started to see a spike in flu cases last December.

A proclamation said the health care facilities are overwhelmed by the number of ill patients and taxed to such an extent that care of patients may no longer be provided "in the traditional, normal and customary manner".

"Basically, everyone 6 months and older needs a flu shot", Villarreal said.

Wayne State has won both the inauguralAlana Yaksich National College and University Flu Vaccination Challenge and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' (MDHHS) 2017-18 Michigan College and University Flu Vaccination Challenge for medium-sized schools. Vaccinating students against the flu is one way to keep them healthy and focused on their academic success.

Health care professionals recommend that anyone who has not already received a flu vaccine do so immediately.

"Influenza vaccine is still available and people can still get immunized. I don't know if he got the flu vaccine".

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