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By Julia Moffett www.msnbc.com 1 - 5 - 99
INDIANAPOLIS - Doctors say a flu-like virus hit early
and hard in central Indiana. Chances are someone in your
family or at work is suffering from it.
Local hospitals are seeing many patients with flu-like
symptoms. In the last 48 hours they actually temporarily
diverted ambulances to other hospitals.
"Diversionary is a process we use when the hospital
resources are essentially overwhelmed.î Doctor Frank
Messina of the Indiana University School of Medicine
says itís typical this time of year to see an increase of
patients in emergency rooms."
But with the influx happening so quickly the health
department decided to issue a health advisory in hopes of
at least slowing down the still unidentified virus.
Joe Dilaura of Health and Hospital Corporation says, ìItís
essentially a common sense warning. Be aware thereís a
flu-like bug that seems to be sweeping through the
Marion County health officials are now visiting hospitals
and health clinics in the county, collecting culture samples
and other symptomatic information to find out exactly
what this virus is.
Dr. Messina says there are many viruses ìthat can cause
flu-like illness. Influenza A and B are only two of
thousands that cause a similar type of illness.
The very young and very old are particularly at risk of life
threatening complications from this virus. But the rest of
us should just grin and bare it.
"Stay at home, drink plenty of liquids, Tylenol for aces
and pains and fever and watch for warning signs," says
Doctors say children, teens and those over 65 years of age
should pay particularly close attention to symptoms. Flu
like symptoms typically include high fever, muscle and
body aches, headache and coughing and sore throat.
And if they're more serious then those weíve listed, seek
medical attention immediately.