(WICHITA, Kan.)—The director of the Sedgwick County Health Department says Wichita area hospitals are near capacity dealing with influenza.
Claudia Blackburn gave a flu update to Sedgwick County commissioners Wednesday morning. She says Kansas and Sedgwick County are seeing high flu activity right now.
Blackburn says area hospitals report many patients with respiratory viruses like flu, and emergency rooms have seen an increase in visits for flu-like symptoms. Data from Via Christi laboratories show a large increase in positive tests for influenza.
"It started a little bit earlier, it's peaking a little bit earlier, we hope we're on the downward slope," said Blackburn. "Nobody likes to predict because flu can be unpredictable".
Blackburn says there are two types of flu circulating right now, Influenza A and Influenza B. The most common "A" strain is H3N2, but some H1N1 is also circulating. Blackburn says most of the most common strains are included in this year's flu vaccine, meaning it is the most effective form of prevention.
Health officials remind people that, if you are sick, stay home. Also, wash your hand frequently to prevent getting sick. If you do get sick, call your doctor about possible treatment. Blackburn says people over 65 are most susceptible to complications from flu, so she recommends grandparents do not care for sick children.
Click here to visit the Sedgwick County Health Department website for more on flu prevention and find out who qualifies for a free flu shot.