LeBonheur sees as many as 300 flu patients a day - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

LeBonheur sees as many as 300 flu patients a day

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Doctors at LeBonheur Children's Hospital are seeing as many as 300 patients a day complaining of flu-like symptoms.

LeBonheur Children's Hospital's new chair of pediatrics, Dr. John McCullers, got to Memphis just in time to see a very unusual flu outbreak.

"It's not unusual to have a busy ER," said McCullers.  "What is unusual is this up-tick in the flu specifically."

The number of flu cases has gradually increased since children returned to school after Christmas break.  In the past two weeks, doctors said cases being treated at LeBonheur have doubled.

"Flu can vary from a very mild illness to being a very severe illness, including being deadly," said McCullers.

McCullers said unreasonably warm weather may be contributing to the recent outbreak.  Flu thrives in cool, dry conditions.

"We haven't really had a lot of that so far in Memphis, so it's been sitting there waiting for it's chance to break out, and now is it," said McCullers.

What is even more unusual is that doctors usually see one type of flu at a time.  This year, they have seen three.

"We have all three types of flu hitting Memphis at the exact same time, so that's really a fascinating thing to be going on right now," said McCullers.

Doctors advised everyone to wash their hands and stay away from people who are sick.

Doctors said it is not too late to get a flu shot since the flu is expected to be making the rounds in Memphis for another two to three months.

If you think your child has the flu, doctors said get to your pediatrician quickly.  There is medicine that can shorten the duration of the illness if you get there soon enough.

If symptoms are severe, like dehydration, seizures, or upper respiratory problems, go to the emergency room.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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