PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital said they are seeing more flu patients in the emergency room.
- Flu cases on the rise
- Doctors urge vaccinating kids
- Some kids at a higher risk than others
"Just in the last four weeks or so we diagnosed about 190 kids with flu compared to maybe 40 the month before," Dr. Juan Dumois said. "The kids who come here with the flu vary from relatively mild illness where they can go home with a prescription for Tamiflu medication to those who are so severely ill they are coming into the intensive care unit and having to be put on a ventilator to help them breathe."
Aisha Powell's daughter is in the ER, but not for the flu — and her mom wants to keep it that way.
"Interacting with other children, I prefer if the children are sick or showing symptoms for them to stay at home to be treated because those that are not ill end up bringing it home," Powell said.
Dr. Dumois reminds that some kids are at a higher risk.
"There are certain kids that are more likely to end up in the hospital or die of the flu and those are kids under five or kids underlying lung problems like asthma or any kid who has a known problem with their immune system," Dumois said.
He said there is still time to get a flu shot and there's good news about this season's vaccine.
"For those people who get the flu vaccine, the vaccine seems to be a good match with most of the strains of flu that are circulating," Dumois said.
Which will help keep those germs from spreading.
And Powell believes that good habits can help keep kids out of the ER.
"Even if they're not showing any symptoms, always wash your hands and wipe your area down. If you're consistent, it'll become habit when they're not near you," she said.