Central Indiana fights flu outbreak
Local hospitals are trying to protect patients from a winter flu outbreak. Some are already limiting visitors to healthy adult family members. Others will institute restrictions later this week.
Emergency room nurses and doctors are treating growing lines of flu patients, some sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.
Dr. Howard Levitin of St. Francis Health explained, "We are seeing a few that are very ill and we are seeing people who just don't feel well."
The ER doctor says every patient he's seen didn't get a flu shot.
"They wanted to but didn't do it. Somebody told them something bad would happen; they would get sick if they get the flu; they have all kind of reasons," he said.
To reduce the threat to patients, hospitals are restricting their visitors.
The Children's Museum, where opportunities to spread germs are as endless as the fun, stepped up its cleaning efforts.
"We're wiping down everything - door knobs, buttons, with a cleaner that is as green friendly. But it's constant. From the moment you get here to the moment you leave," said Museum Vice President Brian Statz.
Every parent we spoke with worries about their children getting sick, but most didn't get themselves vaccinated. LaTonya and Sadie are sisters.
"I'm kinda iffy about those types of vaccinations especially since I haven't gotten sick in so long," said Sadie Waterford.
Sister LaTonya Marshall answered back, "If you can help me, give me every vaccine you got. I'd rather do that than get sick."
Typically in any flu season, it is the very young, the elderly and the medically infirm who are at the most risk. But this year is different.
So far the flu season has killed 11 Hoosiers. None of them are children. Ten of them were between the ages of 25 and 64. It's unknown if they had underlying conditions.
"The older people have probably been exposed to this strain and developed an immunity to it and those in the younger age group may not have yet," said Dr. Levitin. "Younger" means younger than 64.