TAMPA, Fla. — A Bay area hospital is seeing an increase in young flu patients.
- 70 confirmed cases last week
- Cases are presenting themselves a month early
- More Hillsborough County stories
The pediatric emergency room at Advent Health in Tampa has been packed with children who are suffering from the flu virus.
Last week, the hospital had 70 confirmed flu cases.
"It was a surprise for everyone," said Assistant Vice President of Emergency Department and Critical Care Brandon Bougard. "Flu doesn't usually present itself until mid-October, but this time it was a month early."
Ambroseia Wilson brought her 10-month-old son Jax to the emergency room because of the flu Wednesday.
"When I brought him in, he had a 104 fever," said Wilson. "He threw up twice walking up to this door, he was really whiny, wanted to be all over me."
Wilson said her son's daycare was closed because other children at the daycare suffered from the flu and RSV.
"I think the worst part about it as a parent, you're just helpless," Wilson said. "There's nothing else I can do."
Health experts said most of the young flu patients being seen so far have the B strain of the virus. That could be dangerous in children because their bodies dehydrate quicker.
"If parents see a lot of nausea, vomiting or fever, they should take their child to the doctor, if not urgent care," Bougard said.
The flu shot is available. Doctors recommend that people get the vaccine by the end of this month.
The Hillsborough Health Department offers free flu shots to children who qualify.
A free flu clinic will also be held at USF on Friday for adults.