Flu Appearing Strong Along Wasatch Front

Flu Appearing Strong Along Wasatch Front

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Ed Yeates ReportingChildren across the Wasatch Front are being treated for a garden variety of illnesses, often classified this time of year as the "Para-influenzas." But actual diagnosed cases of the flu also continue to climb.

Eight-year old Adam Case was hospitalized this afternoon with bronchialitis and the croup. With little voice left, he told us...

Adam Case: "I think this is the worst case I've ever had. This is the first time I've been in the hospital."

Gina Case, Adam's Mother: "Sunday morning, early in the morning, he woke up and he really couldn't breathe at all. He was really sucking in the chest."

Down the hall, two-and-a-half year old Teegan Perry is also sick with a touch of pneumonia. In addition to all these usual winter ills, Primary Children's Hospital now reports seven cases of the real flu or influenza "A" -- three more than last week. Two kids with Respiratory Syncytial Virus are also hospitalized.

It’s nothing out of the ordinary yet, except the cases of influenza, which continue showing up about a month early. While not making any predictions, infectious disease physicians admit they're getting a bit nervous.

Andrew Pavia, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases: "They use to say we have a bad flu year every ten to twelve years, it's been about 25 to 30 years since we've had a bad flu year. So it's a little bit like the Wasatch fault, it's overdue for the big one."

So they offer strong advice as we move about and travel, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. If you get sick, take some common courtesies.

Andrew Pavia, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases: "Well, I think the viruses love thanksgiving because people travel across the country in cold weather, get together intimately, kiss each other, hug, share glasses, bottles."

Again use common sense etiquette. Don't share. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough and when you sneeze

The number of influenza cases could go even higher tomorrow as the State Health Department collects its weekly tally from sentinel clinics.

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