Flu Outbreak Wreaks Havoc On Doctors' Offices

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

News from South Carolina, a six-year-old boy died suddenly this weekend, after suffering flu-like symptoms.

The flu virus is being reported at different levels around the nation.

The CDC says widespread activity is being reported in the thirteen states in red. These 16 states in blue are reporting regional activity, while the six states in orange are reporting local activity. The thirteen states in green are reporting sporadic activity.

The map tells one story, but Evansville area doctors' offices, Convenient Care Centers, and even hospital emergency rooms, are telling a different story.

Doctors' offices are seeing double their patient load, and are even turning some patients away.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to try and keep yourself from become a statistic.

Doctor David Schultz is busier than normal these days.

His staff has taken more than a hundred phone calls just for him Monday, the main problem - the flu.

In fact, the CDC says on average every year about 114 thousand people are hospitalized, and some 36 thousand people die because of the flu.

Flu vaccines are recommended for infants from six- to 23-months-old, everyone over the age of 50, kids and adults with respiratory ailments like asthma, and women who have been pregnant for more than three months.

Besides getting the flu shot, there are additional ways to help prevent the flu and colds. You should wash your hands frequently, in warm water.

Keep your fingers away from your nose, eyes and mouth to avoid infecting yourself. Clean spaces you share with others, like office equipment.

Get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong. Drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet.

And finally, limit alcohol consumption, it can dehydrate you and decrease your resistance to bacteria