Hospitals see increase in number of flu cases

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The Centers for Disease Control says Indiana is one of 34 states with a widespread flu outbreak.

Despite the serious health risks that have already killed four Hoosiers this year, health care workers say they are not seeing a push by people to get vaccinated.

Donald Bradley, 71, is not one of those people.

"This is going to be a first for me, after all these years," said Bradley as he got his first flu shot at a clinic offered by Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis.

"Just go about normal today. There's no restrictions, nothing that you have to worry about," Registered Nurse Julie Bargerhuff told Bradley after she gave him his shot.

Bradley was worried about catching the flu this year.

"Every year that I taught school, I got the flu," he explained.

Even though Bradley has retired from teaching, he said he was still out and about in public.

"As a deacon at my church, we do a lot of our ministry carrying communion and we're in and out of different homes and we pray for our parishioners and we hold hands," said Bradley of his close contact with others throughout the week, even during flu season.

Bradley didn't come alone to get his flu shot. He brought his wife, Lucille.

"He says, 'I'm going and if you catch it, I don't want you getting near me'," Lucille Bradley said. "So, I come. He twisted my arm."

"I gave her the choice, you know, I said, 'I'm coming, you know, and if you want to come, okay'," Bradley said he finally told his wife.

"This year, there's a lot of talk about how bad it really is and how it's affecting children as well as adults," explained Lucille Bradley of her reason for getting the shot.

Even with awareness, Bargerhuff said St. Francis offered a flu shot clinic on Monday and no one showed up.

"It seems like they're thinking it isn't as important and there's been a decrease in the numbers this year," said Bargerhuff of the possible reasons people were not coming in like they have in past years.

Area hospitals said they've seen their numbers go up with patients coming to the emergency room and being admitted with the flu.

"A lot of ICUs are filling up with influenza patients that secondarily get pneumonia. They get really sick from it. We've had some here," said St. Francis Dr. Dee Bonney.

"The best prevention is to get your flu vaccine," said Bonney.

Donald and Lucille Bradley certainly heard that message this year.

"I wanted to be on the safe side," said Bradley.

After getting their flu shot, the Bradleys said they feel like they are.